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Fundamentals of Responsive Design

These days, responsive web design is the one of the most important things any budding web designer has to think about. Today, most designers are dealing with more and more fragmented information that constantly changes in the landscaping of devices, frameworks, and increasing browser capabilities; and then must match the needs of the clients to work in a new way to manage the processes of formulating, creating, and operating these more responsive webpages.

More Demanding Designs

Designing responsive pages is becoming more and more inherently complex than it took for traditional dedicated webpages- even on mobile webpages. Designing a responsive web design, therefore, requires allotting more performance and dedicated attention to avoid creating a laggy page or increasing the amount of data that people have to use to access your sight. Anyone who uses current mobile technology to surf the web knows the frustrations of nary-loading webpages; and often these flaws are the "make or break" aspect of these sights that will channel business to potential clientele, otherwise people will go find another site that works quicker if they're forced to wait for too long.

To ensure the best possible scenario when building the most responsive of websites (performance, optimization, lowest possible data usage), follow these few ground rules:

1. Avoid downloading hidden images.

Sometimes; the best style is none (expressed quite literally; "display: none") . Often, adding these styles fails to add any flair, and often you really don't need the image to get your point across. The most responsive and easy to use web sites avoid bogging down users with images, because on most devices the images are too large to successfully fit appropriately on mobile devices. Another reason to avoid applying image settings is because these settings often create excessive page weight when you want a page to load speedily on a single, compact screen. The point being made- only add images if they are extremely relevant if your goal is to be the most responsive, no matter what format it's put in.

2. If you have to add images, size them on the server, don't make the device handle the weight of the page.

Usually, if you don't specify, responsive webpages still display the same image across all display sizes (unless you didn't follow the first rule and hid images on your page); and the best way to avoid crashing web pages and bogging down mobile devices is to make the display size of the image a percentile so that it smoothly adapts to fit the page's needs. This particular technique is referred to as making your images "fluid". Another, speedier option is to create several versions of each image; resize them on the server to appropriate sizes; and then download the ones closest to the display's capabilities using the server. Luckily, in today's technological society; there are also application options that help people out when deciding about the size and quality of images- namely akamai's Image Converter that does all the work in real time instead of server time, while still processing the load on the server.

3. Don't load JavaScript immediately.

Processes that use JavaScript (twitter streams, location maps, agent conversations) use massive amounts of data, even if a user tries to hide their output. They might seem smaller in overall payload; but these scripts actually have huge byte-to-byte impacts on loading times; even higher than pictures on some occasions; even slower than some 3rd party scripts. To avoid introducing reliability failure points; instead try to better wrap those scripts with small inline scripts that adjusts the scripts only if they are actually needed; saving much needed processing speeds for more important loading tasks- speeding up the whole process. Do so with care, however. Sometimes adding these inline scripts slows down large screen versions of sites. Try adding dynamics like document object models that use the "document.write()" function to rely less on Java.

4. Optimize the use of server-side components

Optimizing the use of server-side components can drastically increase performance with just a few lines of code. Adding these lines of code magically transforms your "one-size" webpage into one that works on desktops, tablets and smartphones and loads faster than almost any other option because it streamlines the process and establishes the correct HTML codes before the page even starts to load. This is great for people world-wide as well as those for constrained connectivity- breaking through the glass ceiling and enabling equality despite the device. All you have to do is follow Google's instructions on downloading PageSpeed; and a device detection library like DeviceAtlas. Then integrate the operations of these applications into your webpages with "

5 . Introduce Performance Testing and design your webpages for smartphones before you design for desktop.

It's tough to perfect what you can't measure. And if you can't measure, you don't have a reference point to start from. To assure that you have the best possible outcomes for your pages, invest in tools that test the simple performance of key applications on your web pages; and one that runs these tests from browsers automatically resized to various view-port sizes and pixel ratios. A cool feature about these applications is that they often can give you as much detail as even measuring manipulations that your scripting commands make, mark performance measurements and note any deviation. These programs help focus your webpages while preventing degradation from different formats over time; letting you focus on the baseline instead of technology. Starting from a small layout makes this approach even more effective, allowing you to prioritize and enhance the most important content and functionality for mobile devices, then progressively add variety for larger devices with more processing power (otherwise referred to as "tier-two" content).

If you're looking to sell products on the internet; even produce or display information, you have to be ready to build the most responsive web pages. Often, if you don't allow for a mobile or tablet market of consumer; you miss out on 30 or more percent of a target audience. It might be simpler and easier to cram information on a page layout for desktops; but trained and skilled professionals know how to limit their programming to have the best effect. Following the steps above sets a guideline to work from to establish a base for working forward to having the most functional, quickest site on the web.