Techniques and technologies for optimizing user experience on a wide range of devices
The growth of smartphone and tablet devices in recent years has seen the range of screen sizes and resolutions skyrocket. As it would be impractical to build many websites to suit every possible environment, responsive design has emerged as a method for creating single, flexible websites which can deliver an optimal experience throughout this huge range of devices.
Through use of CSS media queries, many device properties can be detected. By identifying the width, resolution and display ratio of the screen (amongst other things) the layout and style of the page can be adjusted to suit.
It is important to note that responsive web design (RWD) only affects the layout and visual style of the page. Commonly confused with RWD is Adaptive design, a catch-all term which includes other techniques and technologies used to enhance the user experience to best suit the device.