What Is Responsive Design and Why Is It Important

Jul 17, 2019 | Blog, Website Design

In those days, when mobile device was still not available to the most of population, website designers just assumed everyone was browsing using desktop. Their job was simple, just made things looked great in desktop view (usually in landscape). This practice didn’t sound too bad until Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone. Henceforth, people start loving these palm-size devices, and almost use them for everything.

Steve Jobs introduced iPhone © Reuters

But here comes the problem: these cute little palm-size devices are too small from a standard desktop size. And not forgetting that they are in portrait mode by default. Thing went worse the tablets joined the family. Now we could no longer assume users read in desktop, it might be mobile, or tablet portrait, or even tablet landscape.

Designer realised that one-size-fit-all policy couldn’t do the trick anymore. Luckily, they figured it out. They infused fluidity into the layouts, making them aware and respond to the screen size. When a component realises there are more space around it, it fills in the space; when there isn’t enough, it appends into the next line.

And that, is what we called Responsive Design.

To make it clearer, just look at the image below:

Left: normal view in desktop, middle: non-responsive view in tablet, right: non-responsive view in mobile

It is obvious that a website without responsive design is an ache to the eye of reader. Does your website look like the ones we just showed? You should change it right now!

Our colleague wrote down a great article about his experience of implementing responsive design. If you are interested to see how he supports multiple screen sizes in React Native, you can read it here.

If you need any help, you can contact us here.
Lawrence Cheng

Lawrence Cheng

UI/UX Engineer. Evangelist for good design.