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In: Web Design

It is only when human mind liberates itself of the limitations and boundaries, technology moves ahead and brings us to yet another milestone. This is what pertains Ethan Marcotte did when he introduced the concept of creating web designs which "responds" to the screen dimensions and resolutions it is being viewed on. His ideas on Responsive Web Design were viewed on the blog "A list Apart". Getting freedom from screen sizes and resolutions of different devices has become a liberating and possibly creatively fulfilling experience for the web designers.

In the web 0.1 era when static one-page websites were created, things were pretty much simple, at least as we see them in today's day and age. Gradually, mobile was introduced and it went through several transformations which continue to today. Along came other devices as well, such as Notebook and Kindle. While the marketing geeks have always remained on the pursuit for better ways of reaching the customers and target audience, web has remained the most cost effective way of communicating with them (one way initially and two way today) with best ROI. This has opened new avenues to forge transparent and uninhibited conversations and has since kept marketing teams on their toes to design their communiqué or websites qualified for the not just each screen size but also the features of the each medium or device.

While the number of devices will certainly rise, having separate websites for each device can put forth a mind boggling number websites to be designed, updated and managed on a daily basis. Needless to say that each website may not convey the same theme or essence, but demands to be created since your target audience could view it on a device it is most comfortable with. To top it up, the audience experience in different browsers may differ vastly. And while the technology evolves further, we would look at independence from the limited screens of handheld devices. The ability to use any surface as a screen is somewhere on the horizon!

Today, even Google recommends Responsive Web Design as their preferred method for building websites. Moreover, Google Analytics can provide a consolidated report on the statistics of your website from each device, instead of different charts and graphs for different sites.

Responsive Web Design was a term coined by Ethan Marcotte which rests on the concepts of fluid designs and content and image choreography and media questions.

It is a technique based on HTML and CSS. Simple rules in CSS can change style based on the screen-size of the user's device. To enable its function in older web browsers like IE 6, there are JavaScript based solutions like respond.js and modernizr.