Responsive design: Meeting users halfway

Jamie Boyd, Senior Interface Developer at Equator, gave a very interesting talk on responsive design and the fact that the Web isn’t actually dead. For the novices out there like myself, responsive design is a set of techniques that allow the layout of a site to automatically adjust to the device the content is displayed on – aiming to provide the optimum user experience.

Users are no longer satisfied seeing desktop size pages squeezed onto a mobile screen. They are no longer thinking in terms of websites on the mobile but "websites that work and websites that don't". Users want the ability to use any device to view any content, they don't want any device limitations.

For the last year, Equator have been working on a responsive web design project for Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, who wanted to respond to mobile users and engage more with social media.

Jamie showed us responsive design in action by changing the size of the screen and illustrating how the CSS media queries kicked in to display tablet CSS and then mobile CSS when the screen reached certain sizes. If you watch the full talk, you will see the simplification and linear layout shift in three main ways:

  • The main navigation and booking component shrink down to hide components
  • The main feature scroller is reduced in size
  • Both the feature's components as well as the footer section move from a horizontal row to a vertical stack

Jamie went into detail on the top five things Equator learned during the project. He summed those points up very nicely with these words of wisdom "Be responsive, embrace flexibility, and build the web the way it was always meant to be."

By Laura Boyd

How do you think responsively designed websites will affect the mobile app market? Watch the full event!