Responsive web design is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors). The layout adapts to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images, and CSS3 media queries.
- The fluid grid concept calls for page element sizing to be in relative units like percentages, rather than absolute units like pixels or points.
- Flexible images are also sized in relative units, so as to prevent them from displaying outside their containing element.
- Media queries allow the page to use different CSS style rules based on characteristics of the device the site is being displayed on, most commonly the width of the browser.
- Server-side components (RESS) in conjunction with client-side ones such as media queries can produce faster-loading sites for access over cellular networks and also deliver richer functionality/usability avoiding some of the pitfalls of device-side-only solutions.
The layout uses all the real estate available on a desktop screen, usually wide screen ratio.