After some renovations three years ago, the Windhoek public library now boasts a new look, tons of books and shelving all under a circular skylight.
With these renovations in place the library now include a brand new computer room with internet access and the option to print remotely.
A Whois record contains all of the contact information associated with the person, group, or company that registers a particular domain name.
A sales quotation is a pre-sale document similar to an invoice that allows a prospective client to see what costs would be involved for work they would like to have done.
Depending on a business's services it cannot always provide a price for a particular service upfront, as costs involved can vary depending on various factors like materials that would be used in this process.
To put it in layman's terms; responsive website design refers to the way a website is displayed on various internet enabled devices. Many people may also refer to this type of design as dynamic but a website can also be considered dynamic with simple functionality like a contact form because it encourages user interaction and therefore can not be static.
On the other hand responsive design enables web developers and designers to mandate how their websites would be displayed when viewed on a device like a cellphone, with a limited display resolution or real estate, thus providing usability and functionality to a given website on a mobile device.
Comparing two popular websites, I will provide some insight on the importance of responsive web design.
Above you will see two screenshots of Classifieds.com.na, as viewed on two different phones.
The one display is similar to what you would see on an internet browser such as Firefox. However, the other display looks completely different. The reason is that this site can be viewed as standard HTML, or as a WAP-version. The WAP-version is a cut down version that will display correctly on old phones, but with limited functionality.
By altering the site in this way, you have effectively allowed the site to be supported by multiple devices. However, this still doesn't quite fall under the category of "Responsive Design". Hopefully our next example will make the difference more apparent.
Howl is a Wordpress-powered solution which has a plugin installed called "WPtouch". The description boasts:
WPTouch is a plugin which formats your site with a mobile theme for visitors on Apple iPhone / iPod touch, Google Android, Blackberry Storm and Torch, Palm Pre and other touch-based smartphones.
This is starting to demonstrate how responsive design can help modern websites. Although WPTouch is in essence a new theme that is showed on the condition of the viewing device being an Apple Device, the theme itself uses CSS to create a fluid design. Using one set of CSS rules to display a site correctly on Apple products, is technically responsive design.
If the site's main theme was changed to support Apple devices, then this would be a 100% responsive design. However, because it is still conditional, it is not 100% responsive.
Comparing the two
By using a WAP enabled device, I was able to preform some usability tests on both websites to compare which of the two provide the best possible results when considering the above.
Classifieds.com has shown that older mobile devices are not completely capable with handling the websites layout and will benefit greatly if converted to a responsive design. Thou the site is still of some use it leaves a lot desired with it's simple menu links.
Howl.co.za on the other hand have provided a fully functional mobile theme which not only focuses on the content but is easily grouped into blocks that are quite easy to use. The shines best on the iPhone where it becomes a breeze to use because of it's touch capabilities.
If you are building a site from the ground up, and you plan the original version around responsive design techniques, you could make your site look good on most devices available today. Save time, money and effort by simply planning better, and using the technologies that are available to you.
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