As part of my last assignment in Web Design Bootcamp, we are to take a snapshot of Responsive Websites in the Summer of 2012. (What is Responsive? I love this article that answers that question.) This is a fun exercise. We are the Darwins of the Web, looking for interesting variations on the finch. They prove that there are trends in Web Design and they evolved that way for a reason, but there’s always a few sites that are innovative. Because they have thought through some usability features, they have added value to the site. As we get better with responsive (perhaps strict industry standards) we (as designers and developers) can better enhance Web experiences and usher in a new era of technological development as Steve Jobs ushered in a new era of music listening.
In our design/developer toolbelt, we have Responsinator and Responsive Design Bookmarklet to ease the Responsive Testing Process. (There are a bunch of these sites, if you want to shop around. I like Matt Kersley‘s because it seems more indie. Let me adjust my hipster glasses as I say that.) They shrink down the website for you (and in the case of Responsinator, it adds a grey version of the device whose screensize that is). Chris Pederick (Web Dev Toolbar Extraordinaire) also offers features to streamline the process.
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Test your site in various devices from an iPhone and iPad, to a Kindle and on Android on the Responsivetools. It also shows your site both in portrait and landscape mode. I like this tool much more because of the outlines of the devices displayed on the page, which brings more meaning to the whole process.