Responsive Web Design defines any approach or technique that makes your web page mobile friendly. It's actually more a concept rather than a well defined set of techniques.
A responsive website should look good on virtually any screen size: desktops, tablets and smartphones. So should your website be responsive? When we know that over 50% of web browsing is done through mobile nowadays, the answer is definitely yes. Let's put it another way: if your site isn't responsive, you're likely to either lose a lot of traffic or look technologically backward!
I'm travelling to New York next week in order to present at a meetup, so I spent the last couple of weeks catching up with RWD all over the web. Even if I'm still scratching the surface, I feel a bit better about my web design skills and I'm going to share my experience so far...
Before we start, here is a tutorial that should make you familiar with the basics of RWD.
What are the tools which are available to help a novice creating a responsive web page?
1/ Let's start with the easiest! Grab an existing template and tweak it to your needs:
Here is a descent tutorial on RWD from w3schools. I used one of their sample to create my first responsive demo:
And here a large collection of free responsive templates. I picked two of them and customised it to my needs, integrating them with View & Data API:
The full source code for those project is on Github.
2/ The good old way: Do it yourself!
Templates are ok but at some point you may want to go a step further and either create your own responsive page or upgrade an existing page to be responsive. If your page was not designed to be responsive from the scratch however, it's likely you will have to completely rethink it. But writing a responsive page is not that hard after all...
There is still a lot to explore about of responsive design with and without View & Data, so stay tuned!