The proliferation of the internet has created countless by-products made to support its radical innovation. Mobile devices like tablets and phones have arguably been the most significant and impactful invention after the internet, responsive web design is a by-product of these radical innovations. “(RWD) is an approach to web design that makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes.” (1). At its core RWD was created as a design method to achieve the best user viewing experience on any mobile device.
“Technology is a powerful driver for change. Sometimes to fulfill important needs, and sometimes simply because technology makes the change possible”, “Radical innovation often starts fresh, often driven by new technologies that make possible new capabilities…paving the way for rapid advances… (2
The internet paved the way for mobile devices and mobile devices paved the way for smart screen design and technology. Laptops, desktops, and televisions are merging with one another more and more everyday. “The amount of new devices and their attributes will only continue to increase and diversify, so responsive design is not about ‘mobile support’ anymore, it is about ‘multi-device support’. It has also moved away from screen size design-thinking to scenario based design-thinking.” (3) New requirements call for new technology and innovation, however the fundamental needs of humans remain the same. In this context a person simply wants to be able to clearly read or view the content they are consuming. Responsive Web Design is a fairly new technology that was invented in 2010.
Technological advances seem to happen at a rapid pace today. The internet, smart phones, and computers have revolutionized the way humans interact and effects the way other products are designed so that they are compatible. But no matter how fast technology advances society and people move at a slow pace. One might think the touchscreens (along with the smart device) were just invented within the decade or so, however “touch sensitive displays” or “multitouch displays” were invented 30 years ago. “Technology changes rapidly, but people and culture change slowly. Change is therefore, simultaneously rapid and slow…it can take months to go from invention to product, but then a decade—sometimes many decades— for the product to be accepted.” (2) The commercial use of the internet and invention of smart devices made way for the touchscreen which then made way for the standard of responsive web design.
- The Design of Everyday Things (Norman)