Responsive Web Design (RWD) is clearly the talk of the internet right now and be it developers or clients or users, everyone is looking forward to its implementation so that the user experience is improved. Because of this flurry, there has been a new development now and this angle hasn’t been explored much. This side of RWD is RWA or Responsive Web Apps. Responsive Web Apps clearly have a huge future in the internet industry and because they are being taken as a challenge, not many people discuss the required concepts which you need to build these apps. Actually building the apps come later as first we need to be clear about these concepts in our minds and then go forward with the tutorials available for RWAs. This article will talk about the pre-requisites of developing Responsive Web Design Apps and the challenges and ideas which everyone needs to know before they begin the development process.
What Is RWD and RWA?
Responsive Web Design is basically a technique with which websites are built without having a fixed screen size in mind. The websites created using RWD can be opened on any of the devices present in the market and are scalable in such a way that the user experience or the important components of the site aren’t hampered. Responsive Web Apps are basically using HTML5 powered apps to be built in such a way that they are responsive also and are able to easily work on a wide range of devices. However, we must understand that there are a number of limitations to both these concepts which work against them. They include slow internet connections and mixture of QWERTY, touch and alphanumeric keypads and each of these challenges have to be dealt in building RWAs.
Focus on Progressive Enhancement
Progressive Enhancement is important with RWD as our main focus is building for mobiles which will ultimately affect the performance as well. Also, because the apps too have SEO as an important aspect for their success, Java Script-Enabled debate has been set aside for sometime and the most important hopes are coming from progressive enhancement itself.
Client Side Solutions
Client side solutions are an important part of Responsive Web Design as most of the changes and implementations of RWD are done by the clients themselves. These aspects include adding content to the initial document and images sent by the server, using media queries to apply different styles to the documents and receiving responsive images. The challenges which have been faced on the client’s side include non-standardized responsive images, unnecessary CSS content, lack of responsive layouts which make RWD and RWA much easier and element queries. These are the basic problems with RWDs.
Apart from the problems of client side solutions, the important brunt comes on to the server side solutions and factors like RESS and HTTP Client Hints come into the picture. Their importance is due to the fact that only focusing on mobile experience and taking it in such a way that it helps us write better content sometimes proves to be inadequate. These ideas boil down to one idea which is- If you want to focus more on content and performance then focussing on Server side solutions becomes more important. Content negation and user-agent detection are two other important features which need to be kept in mind before taking the route to build RWAs.
This is the most important part where we will form a distinction between why behaviour is very important when we differentiate between websites and apps. Though, RWD when dealing with websites is only about how the site is laid out and what the design is, but the aspect of behaviour comes in when we talk about the apps. Moving on from the responsive images and fluid grids which are important to any RWD app, we also need to focus on responsive loading modules. These modules depend on the capability of the device and the size of the screen.
Once we are clear with these important concepts, it will be much easier to go about the process of building Responsive Design Apps. These concepts prepare us well for the future problems which will arise during the developmental process of building responsive and context-aware apps. The next step is to use media queries and feature detection to go forward with modules and how to specify them, with a focus on loading them as well. This has to be followed by dependency injections which would be the main area of work in terms of building RWAs. These concepts will help you in building a good knowledge about how to go ahead with app development and once you are well versed with them, following tutorials to build RWAs will be much easier than before.
Mini Belwal works with PixelCrayons, an IT consultancy company. PixelCrayons helps its partners meet their long-term goals, not just the short-term ones. With services such as HTML5/CSS3 development, PSD to Email conversion, the company aims at giving true value to the investment of its clients. You may get in touch with PixelCrayons if you are planning to hire developers for responsive website design services & implementation for your web project.