Responsive web design, in simplest terms, refers to the technology that intelligently displays the same website in its best-fit format according to the visitors’ devices, says desktop, large tablet, mini tablet and mobile phone.
With the emerging Cascading Style Sheet 3.0 (CSS3) media queries features, responsive design is in fact less complicated than you might think. With a handy desk reference on CSS3, a web designer can even develop a well responsive website without heavy programming surgery.
However, a good responsive website sets itself apart from ordinary ones not only by rendering smaller pages with larger font sizes, but also by maintaining a consistent brand presence and user experience across different platforms. It’s usually not a technology challenge but a design one.
While a mobile rendition of a responsive website is usually deemed a “minimalist” version of the original desktop one, some fancy things like those Flash animated elements should be stripped. The key point here is that whether there is respective substituted content to convey the message originally carried by Flash. For example, if you are an architect and your website aims to showcase your portfolio at the first glance via a glamorous Flash slideshow, then your mobile rendition should start with something similar but capable to work on small screens and non-Flash environments too, be it a jQuery mini gallery or even a few nice pictures running vertically.