Basic principles of Responsive Web design

There are multiple screens on which a website can be browsed. The simple solution to the problem of effectively loading a website on variant screen sizes is nothing but a Responsive Web design (RWD). A Responsive Website automatically adjusts the configurations when it is opened on a mobile screen or a tablet or a desktop. But RWD is far deeper and involves applications of certain principles. These are assimilated below:

Fluid Grids provide a flexible structure to your website using relative units like percentages based dimensions rather than pixels. Websites have always been defined in terms of pixels as they were traditionally browsed only on desktops but now with the advent of smartphones and tablets, a website can be easily searched on them convert image to svg. A website appears in a large format on a desktop screen, whereas the size shrinks as we switch on to a smartphone. Due to this it is better to build responsive websites on the basis of the grid system.

The fluid grids flow naturally within the dimensions of the screen displaying the content without any adjustments for different screen sizes. Under this, the maximum size of the layout for the design is specified and then the grid is divided into columns. Then each element is allotted a proportional width and height on the basis of percentage rather than pixel based dimension. So, when the screen size changes, the elements adjust themselves to the screen size.

For example, if a desktop screen has 4 columns next to each other, it will be portrayed in a narrow display when presented on a smartphone screen. But with the help of fluid grid system they will be placed on top of each other forming a single column.

Images should also be able to adjust themselves within the specifications of a fluid grid. This can be done by adding a single line of CSS code: max-width: 100%. This notifies the browser that each image can be as large as the specified value and can never be stretched. If the parent container in which the image is nested up is smaller than the pixel value, then the image should shrink itself accordingly.

Breakpoints allow the layout of the content to change at predefined points. Generally, it is advisable to add a breakpoint at a stage where a sentence breaks. Major breakpoints should be chosen wisely when the layout changes significantly. For example, if a mobile layout occupies 100% of the browser width when stretched to a desktop size, then there would be left some unfertilized space. Hence, while switching to the desktop screen the content should be rearranged in a presentable manner. Here comes the use of breakpoints.

This approach involves designing a website for a smartphone first and then taking it upwards to tablets and desktops. Mobile devices have more features and applications like GPS, touchscreen etc in contrast to desktops. Even the designing part has to be done with utmost vigilance as there are limitations on sidebars and other peripheral content as well.

Joshua Johnson has put it articulately, “With a mobile first view point we start by loading the absolute bare essentials on the smaller platforms. This leads to a snappier experience that avoids unnecessary lag. The additional resources are loaded strictly as needed depending on the platforms that can handle them well. “If you’re creating a file in Illustrator that’s meant for the web, you can use a built-in save option that will allow you to control aspects of the finished file and make it more Web-friendly. This Save For Web feature enables your Web pages to load faster, more smoothly and contribute to an overall better user experience.

To use the Save For Web option, choose File > Save For Web. Alternately, you can bring up the Save For Web dialogue box by pressing Alt+Shift +Ctrl+S. Once the box opens, you will see four tabs, labeled “Original”, “Optimised”, “2-Up” and “4-Up. “

Within this dialogue box, you can select the file format you wish to save your document into; the type of compression used by the file; the number of colours included in the file; dithering; diffusion; transparency and other image qualities that impact the overall size of the saved file.

The tabs can be used to compare the original file with an optimised version; and up to three alternative states you can create by adjusting the file attributes. If you use the 2-up or 4-up tabs, you will be shown two or four variations on the image you want to save. The tabs will also contain information on the amount of time it will take to download the file at various connection speeds.

With the Save For Web feature, you can choose to save your file in a GIF, JPEG, PNG-8, PNG-24, SWF, SVG or WBMP format. The Save For Web feature also allows you to manage the colour palette associated with your image, the image size and Cascading Style Sheet layers and their output.

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