Responsive design continues to get a lot of attention, but considering how different it is from the “traditional” way of designing websites, it can be a bit overwhelming for those designers who have yet to try it.
To that end, we’ve compiled this round-up of resources for creating responsive website designs. Included are tutorials, techniques, articles, tools and more, all geared toward giving you the specific knowledge you need to create your own responsive designs.
Responsive Design Techniques
CSS Transitions and Media Queries
Elliot Jay Stocks provides insight into the combination of CSS media queries and CSS transitions. The basic premise is this: you use media queries to design responsive websites that adapt in layout according to browser width, and you constantly resize your browser to see how the website performs, but every time a query kicks in, there’s a harsh jump between the first style and the second. Why not use some simple CSS transitions to smooth the jump by animating the resize? A nice case study.
Responsive Data Tables
Chris Coyier and Scott Jehl are experimenting with responsive design techniques for displaying data tables. By default, data tables can be quite wide, and necessarily so. You could zoom out and see the whole table, but then the text size would be too small to read. You could zoom in to make it readable, but then you’d have to scroll both vertically and horizontally (sad face) to browse the table. One solution is to reformat the table for better readability. Another is to display a pie graph from the data. Yet another is to adapt the table into a mini-graphic for narrow screens (rather than interfering much with the content when the full table is displayed).
Responsive Navigation Menus: Convert a Menu to a Dropdown for Small Screens
Chris Coyier describes another technique for converting a regular row of links into a dropdown menu when the browser window is narrow. When the user is on a small screen and clicks the dropdown, they’ll get an interface to select an option that is nice and big and easy to choose. Obviously much better than displaying a tiny link.
CSS Media Queries and Using Available Space
A tutorial from CSS-Tricks that discusses how to make subtle changes with media queries and how to use media queries in a single style sheet. For instance, if you have a fluid-width design in which the sidebar is 35% of the width of the page, depending on the width of the browser window, you could say, “If the browser is really narrow, do this. If it’s wider, do this. If it’s really wide, do this.” In the article, you’ll learn how to modify a list of links according to the browser’s viewport.