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Responsive Mobile Site Design

By: Zachary Thacher
Posted: March 24, 2014, from the April 2014 issue of GCI Magazine.

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After visually designing these various sizes of the website and ensuring the experience looks right, you then need an experienced front-end web coder to create these variations in code. This person or team will work with the designer to make sure the various breakpoints look right—breakpoints are the moments at which the site transitions to different screen sizes. My advice is to focus on four widths: smart phone, small tablet, big tablet and desktop.

There’s also a lot of talk in the digital agency world about the right process for creating a responsive site. Do you craft them iteratively, with design and coding happening at nearly the same time using pieces of reusable code? Or do you employ a more traditional waterfall approach where the designer designs the site first and then the coder takes over, with only minimal iterations towards the end of the process?

Either way, by late 2014, the trend is all major websites will be responsive—or at least those sites that want to maintain relevance to consumers. The methodology for creating these sites will refine and evolve since this is still a very nascent development method. The important thing is to catch up to the consumer and get started now with your responsive project.

Zachary Thacher in the principal of Thacher Interactive, an award-winning full service digital agency based in New York. Thacher develops web marketing strategies, responsive websites and social media campaigns for B2C and B2B brands across multiple industries. Follow Thacher on Twitter @zthacher and on Facebook at facebook.com/thacherinteractive. For more information, visit thacherinteractive.com or contact Thacher directly at zachary@thacherinteractive.com.