Responsive Web Design (RWD) was born from the multitude of screens available and especially since the advent of tablets and the frequent use of Smartphones. To meet all these formats it is necessary to create different sites actually adapted to each content:
- A screen desktop (mac or pc) displays
- longer and more complex content
- multiple columns on a page
- larger images with full screen enlargements
- More items in a longer heavy site
- A tablet screen displays
- have much less information,
- smaller images
- For Smartphones is even more complex because the screens vary from one manufacturer to another, but found
- smaller images for Smartphones
- and a few lines of content
- more screens with transitions between them … Navigation is no longer the same, more human with finger rather than a mouse that also changes the behavior of users
- pages to load lighter
All these constraints make it difficult to create a single site that can manage and adapt automatically to all devices available but RWD is born!
RWD therefore in the adaptation of the content and its images depending on the resolution and size of a screen. I saw a lot of technical layout for over 15 years, this one I was particularly taken aback. This technique is really effective, the crazier is that languages that web developers familiar with are used: stylesheets but with his latest CSS3 (with media queries). This explains why we did not see appear earlier.
I recently discovered a website, referring to oil world companies such as Petrosaudi, ExxonMobil or Gazprom, which use RWD perfectly : http://oilworldcompanies.com
I want to make an important point about the design of such a site that requires further reflection upstream (with wireframe), to build and everything comes together perfectly for different devices. You must define the purpose for your various site and whether this technique is useful to set up for your project.
If you were to make 3 sites to 3 different media with this technique you do more than made. Working time is felt on the functional design and layout but not necessarily on the development of features. You finally end up with the maintenance of a single site for multiple devices and thus reduce costs.
COMPATIBILITY WITH IE7, IE8 AND IE6
Regarding IE 6, it is not supported any more by designers. For the other 2 there is no problem because the site will take the normal form so rather use in PC mode as seen on 90% of current sites. But as I have already spoken to HTML5 there are libraries to simulate the benefits of CSS3.