RWD or responsive web design is a website development methodology that allows websites to adjust to the type of screen they are being viewed from. People viewing the website from mobile devices see one version, those on tablets see another,Â and desktop visitors see a different one still. This, even though, the source remains the same, eliminating the time and cost involved in creating separate versions of a website for separate devices.
Voted by .net magazines as one of the top website design trends of 2012, RWD has been successfully utilized by Web Spiders to create a blog for the prestigious Singapore Polytechnic Institute.
The blog, SP Buzz contains several elements that are to be expected from such an youth oriented website, namely a vibrant color scheme, large background images, deep social integration, etc. However when the same website is viewed from a smaller screened tablet device, the appearance changes to a more compact design, with images shifting to the top of each entry instead of the side (compensating for the narrower viewing area), the text automatically adjusting itself, and the entire design becoming more tablet centric. When seen from a screen that is still smaller, such as a smartphone, the design becomes minimalisting, losing the sidebar but none of the content, with the whole appearance completely mobile friendly.
For the end user, this means minimal horizontal scrolling and a much more satisfying surfing experience, not to mention the satisfaction of surfing a website customized to his or her device. For the brand, this means reduced cost and time to market, and no headache of maintaining multiple copies of the same website.
With the proliferation of Internet enabled devices like smartphones, tablets, smart TVs etc, each with their own take on what the screen should be like, RWD presents a simple solution to the complex problem of fragmentation.