Websites these days have taken on a new format. This particular format has more to do with the screen size, and viewing experience. The fact is that long ago, we were not offered a lot of screen sizes so websites used to be standard. In this technological era however, we have a plethora of different screen sizes available and that means that the rigid design of a website will not be a great use, since the viewing experience, no matter how attractive a website, will destroy the entire appeal. This is exactly why we need to come up with website designs that can adapt to different screen sizes.
That is exactly what a responsive design is about. Think of simplicity, flexibility and fluidity, all fused together and incorporated with your website. A responsive design allows your website to seamlessly adapt to screen sizes no matter how different or varying they are. We hope these tips, tools, and resources help you in your work. After the jump, read 50 Responsive Web Design Guidelines, Tools and Tutorials. As always, your comments are welcome.
50. Simple Layout
49. Media Queries
This is a powerful consideration. The entire point of a responsive design is to make sure the end-user gets the best viewing experience. You may want to include alternate stylesheets which load based on the width of a particular end-user.
Breakpoints should always be defined. The common resolutions can be divided into 6 primary breakpoints i.e. <480, <768, >768, <320, 768-1024, and >1024.
47. Flexible Layouts
You should always use flexible grids to make the layout instead of using fixed width. This will help you with dealing in any screen size or even orientation. If this is fused with appropriate Media Queries, you have a perfect layout.
46. Picture Behavior
While designing a responsive design, you should always have control over how pictures behave. You want to make sure that the pictures you use are fluid so they can change according to the resolution over at the end-user of your website.
45. Max and Min
When you are defining your boundaries, make sure you have a grip on the max and min. For maximum adaptability, you want to combine a fluid layout, appropriate media queries and well-defined min/max sizes.
44. Relative over Fixed
A responsive design is all about flexibility. So you may want to consider defining one unit right at the top of the content, and make everything else relative to it. Instead of having a fixed width, the concept of relativity will make your layout more flexible.
43. One Column
If you are looking to set up low-resolution stylesheet, you may want to fit everything in one column. You would do well if you do not divide the content area into multiple columns. Also, stick to a maximum of a total of 2 or 3 columns for your responsive website.
42. Non-Essential Content
Non-essential content is like trash on your website. Make sure everything on your website is usable and practical. That also means that you do not need any extra pictures, or widgets etc. This would also keep your code clean and the average website loading time to a minimum.
41. Meta Viewport Meta Tag
While mobile version of websites do try to squeeze an entire desktop website onto your mobile screen, it is a hurdle for a responsive design. Using the Viewport Meta Tag, you can set it to device width, which is more real-time if you may.
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Grid and Frameworks
This particular tool will help you make your grids flexible. If your grids are flexible, your website window will easily be resized.
This tool is based on CSS media queries. It is an adaptive CSS grid system. Grids are essential for your responsive websites, they will help you to develop the website easily and efficiently.
If you are looking to develop responsive websites, this tool will be very useful. It will design grid layouts allowing you to gain maximum proficiency by utilizing pre-processed CSS extensions such as Stylus, SCSS and LESS.
If you are a beginner, this particular system will make your website look brilliant as long as the pixels range from 240 to 2560.
320 and Up is a beginners guide if you are looking to develop responsive websites and you have no experience with the trade. It is a collection of CSS media queries boilerplate.
This particular tool is very convenient and easy to use. It supports a lot of plugins to make your work easier and in turn, increases productivity.
This boilerplate will change the perception of your website layout amongst end-user. It helps you develop amazing responsive websites with excellent typography. This tool is also great for beginners.
This particular tool will help your website adapt to various different resolutions. Your website, using this resource, will easily adjust to the different viewing screens, users view your website on.
This particular tool has been developed by Tyler Tate and it is very lightweight, as suggested by the name. You can use this tool to set the number of columns.
This is a sleek, powerful, and intuitive front-end framework for easier and faster web development.
A simple tool with a much simpler use and functionality. This gives you greater control over CSS if you are using a fluid grid website design.
This is a cross-browser CSS grid framework which can work with 16 columns. It works with various different browsers so you have no compatibility issues as well.
No matter what grid you have in mind, you can use this tool to create it in no time. It is still a beta, but it works flawlessly.
You can use this tool to generate grids online and you have the options to play with columns, padding and gutter.
This tool will help you to work with grids easily.
This is a responsive grid system for Compass, another semantic grid system.
This tool will help you determine the grid system appropriate for your website, and will help you in an interactive way too.
SKETCH SHEETS AND WIREFRAMES
This tool will help you place the elements on your website a lot easier.
This tool will help you visualize your responsive website. It is built with HTML and CSS.
This will help you understand how your current website will look like and perform.
If you are looking to designing responsive websites, this is a jQuery plugin that will come in very handy. It helps rearranging the elements and also resizing them appropriately.
You can use this tool to create responsive layouts that are adaptive. It will also help rearranging elements.
Internet Explorer does not support CSS3 media queries. This tool will help your website become compatible with IE and other such browsers.
If you have a small list and are looking to create a drop down menu, this will help you with it.
This tool determines the size of the browser and fits the elements on your website accordingly.
TESTING AND PREVIEW
This is another tool that will help you test your website on different devices.
This is another testing tool that performs that aforementioned functions, but it also resize the website pixel by pixel.
You can see how your website will perform on different devices on just one screen. Debugging was never easier.
You can use this tool to view your website on different devices and it allows users control over scrolling and rotations. You can enable and disable the feature as well.
If you are looking to test pixels, this is the perfect tool for you.
You can check your website performance on different devices, and you can check the functionality in portrait and landscape mode too.
This slider is specifically made for responsive websites.
“Elastislide is a responsive image carousel that will adapt fluidly in a layout. It is a jQuery plugin that can be laid out horizontally or vertically with a pre-defined minimum number of shown images.”
If you are looking to create a responsive slider, this is an extremely lightweight plugin you can use to do that. It supports all the browsers.