Responsive Website Design is becoming a bit like a brilliant, yet over-played song. It seems like everyone has had their say, and Ethan Marcotte’s agenda has never looked healthier. There’s good reason for this though; the concept is simple, the motives are logical, the technology is straight-forward and the results are extremely satisfying.
2011 saw an explosion in the number of websites built responsively, and the beauty of it is that we’re all involved in developing the process. It’s still in its youth, designers and developers are concocting new approaches all the time, and we’re a long way off nailing down any real best-practices. Should we first design for large screens and use media queries to gracefully degrade our designs for mobile? Or should we design for mobile first, progressively enhancing for more capable devices? Paul Irish kicked off an interesting thread over on GitHub if you’d like to dive into the discussion.
One thing RWD has shone a light on is the focus on content. Aside from all other factors, the content of any given website is what’s important; the meat-and-two-veg needs to be legible, accessible, and clear on any device. Designers are certainly taking this on board as is evident in many of 2011′s emerging websites.
When all’s said and done though, even if you’re a little tired of seeing yet more RWD tutorials and articles cropping up, stay tuned. 2012 is going to see big developments in the way we all approach it.