Jun 14 2013, 7:27am CDT | by Shaun Chatman
Modern Internet users continually switch from their desktop computers in the office to smartphones on their commute and tablets on the couch. Responsive Internet layouts appreciate our changing browsing habits and work with them. Websites employing this trend automatically resize and reconfigure themselves for the optimal display, no matter what the device.
Responsive layouts are better for search engine optimization and company efficiency, as firms need only update one website rather than separate desktop and mobile platforms. With the rise of multi-device browsing, it's no wonder that Mashable called 2013 the "Year of Responsive Web Design."
The Windows 8 operating system might have been a critical flop, but it seems to have influenced the styling of many modern web designers. The flat design of Microsoft's navigational tiles is mimicked in several new websites. Solid, strong colors have replaced subtle gradients and elaborate artsy fonts have made way for crisper typography.
It doesn't just look chic though. The simplicity of flat design is easy to view even on the smaller screens of tablets and smartphones.
The introduction of CSS3 has given today's website builder greater control over sites than ever before. This relatively new web-based mark-up language helps designers easily edit the opacity of any page element.
Designers of old applied such effects in graphic editors, but modern designers can simply work with their coding. Since this new technique doesn't require images, modern sites with transparent elements also load more quickly than those in the past. This improvement is well-timed in this age of mobile internet browsing.
Quick response codes, commonly known as QR codes, aren't just for print media any more. While they're only on the sites of trendsetters now, in time we can expect QR codes to be as common as email address or contact numbers.
Companies are now placing their QR codes on their websites in measures to become more mobile friendly. It's much easier for a smartphone user to scan a QR code to access content rather than type in a URL.
Apple pioneered retina screens with the release of its iPhone 4. Since then the tech giant has used the screens, which are twice as dense as traditional LCD versions, on later iPhones, iPads, and some MacBooks. While these screens contain the same number of physical pixels as their peers, twice as many pixels can fit in the same space. The improvement in image quality has been described as something like the shift from dot matrix to laser printers.
Website designers are starting to cater for browsers with retina screens by creating two sets of images: one with a high resolution and another which is half the size. This ensures customers with the latest Apple products can enjoy the crispest web displays.
Source: The Edge Singapore
Shaun Chatman is a well published author on many authority sites. He lives in Dunedin, FL, and spends his free time playing with his kids or advising friends on tech, gadgets, finance and travel.
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