Responsive Web Design: The Past, Present, and Future
The web was stuck inside a lie we had created for ourselves called 960px. Designing sites for the lowest common denomination of screen size. Screens were getting bigger and more varied and we didn’t take advantage of them because it was hard.
Mobile web browsing came of age. Screen sizes suddenly got a lot smaller and forced us to stop looking at the web through the 960px view port and start thinking about how users were experiencing our site on different devices.
Ethan Marcotte introduced a philosophy called 'Responsive Web Design'. It embraces the fact that devices are different and adapts to different contexts. Let's explore the roots of the philosophy and how it gave meaning to techniques people were already using.
Since the introduction of the term the web community has embraced it and expanded upon the original concepts. Mobile first responsive design is progressive enhancement taken a step further. Conditional loading introduces the concept of economical enhancement. Don't load what won't be used.
There’s a lot more to a mobile device than a small screen. If a larger screen size is considered a device capability then what other capabilities do devices have we can take advantage of to create a better experience.