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What is Responsive web design and what to expect in 2019

  • 6 min read



Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design which makes web pages render well on a variety of devices and window or screen sizes. Design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation.

As the user switches between their laptop to mobile phone, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities.

This approach provides one adaptable website to fit multiple screen sizes. Instead of building separate smart phone, tablet, and e-reader websites, web developers use fluid grids, media queries, and flexible images to create one website to deliver content seamlessly across channels.

3 major principles

In this chapter we will review 3 important principles in responsive web design.

  • Fluid Grid Systems
  • Fluid Image Use
  • Media Queries


Fluid Grid System

Before internet ever existed, printed material was main channel of communication. In print the size of what would be displayed was determined in absolute measures.

When internet came around this principle was still in use and websites were defined in terms of pixel sizes.

For responsive websites this absolute size won’t work. So we use the idea of relative sizes rather than absolute ones.

Fluid Image Use

The easiest way to handle fluid images (images that scale to fit their containter) is using the CSS command: img {max-width: 100%}.

This command tells the browser that the image should be a maximum 100% of its pixel value and that it should scale according to its container.

The idea is that this prevents an image from being stretched when the container becomes larger than the image.

Degradation of image is avoided and it is ensured that image will shrink to the container when needed. Original aspect ratio of the image is also maintained.

Media Queries

Media queries are designed to alter the layout of the site when certain conditions are met. The idea is that you can then use a media query to specify when the screen real estate should be rearranged.

You will find that this works best with a “mobile first” approach where you define what you want on mobile and then scale up from there.

Responsive web design trends in 2019

Below are some of the web design trends you will notice in the year 2019.

Non-traditional scrolling

Generally, designers use vertical scrolls, but nowadays everyone is trying to be more unique and original.
Some of the web agencies use horizontal scroll on their websites to grab the users attention.

These types of websites also showcase their content in different ways. In 2019, there will be use of multiple forms of non-traditional or irregular scrolling designs for different websites.

Example below shows website with horizontal scrolling and a lot of illustrations.

web design

Design Containing gradients

To use gradients you need to know how to apply color theory on them. This theory can be used for checking the usage of the correct number of gradients in user interfaces.

Instead of using solid colors, gradient can be used to provide transitions which are natural between tones. Using gradients in user interfaces is easy but we must be careful while doing it. Overdoing must be avoided as it will take you far away from realistic approach.

Image below shows landing page that uses color gradient effect across the entire hero image.

web design

Scroll-Triggered Animation

Through past several months scroll-triggered animation became more used in the web environment. This kind of web design focuses on visual design talent and skill based on front-end development.

Image below is a website, which makes the users click or scroll through the website page layout to see the entire service lines.

web design

Using abstract shapes

Brands began to use more versatile shapes for their websites to grab the attention of their audience. Many companies started integrating modern gradient combinations on their websites. They have done a great job by introducing the abstract shapes and graphics.

Example below shows website for digital agency based in Switzerland. Whole site is very illustrative and uses a lot of abstract and colorful shapes.

web design


It is clear that in the following year, technology will continue to perfect and incorporate advancements into web design projects. Website interactions will become more seamless and remarkably smoother. Designers will have to utilize this advancement and make more beautiful and more interactive design solutions. Contact us for help with implementing a responsive web design into your website!


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