Responsive design is on the lips of every web designer and marketer these days, with many billing it as the ultimate solution for building a website in the mobile age. But what exactly is responsive design, and how does it work? Here’s a quick rundown.
What Is Responsive Design?
Before responsive design, real estate marketers had three options for marketing their properties to mobile web users:
Redirect visitors to a mobile-only website, which had to be built separately and offered fewer features.
Build a mobile app, which had the same problems and presented users with the extra step of downloading.
Stick with a traditional desktop website, which displayed content poorly for mobile users.
With responsive design, however, marketers can provide a great browsing experience with just one site. That’s because a site built on responsive design scales web content fluidly across multiple devices with different screen sizes, creating an easy reading and navigation experience with a minimum of resizing or scrolling.
How Does Responsive Design Work?
The key to responsive design is CSS, a design language that describes the formatting and look of an HTML web page. CSS refers to an external file that contains information on how a web page’s different elements (buttons, sidebars, menus, text and images, etc.) should be displayed.
CSS saves developers time and energy by allowing them to create a limited number of style profiles, which can then be applied to all the pages of a website in one fell swoop.
When it comes to mobile, CSS also includes “media queries,” which allow a web page to determine the size and screen resolution of the device you’re using to view it. The page can then apply the appropriate CSS profile, custom fitting the layout to your needs. The result is a site that “responds” to visitors, giving them the best version of your website.