What is responsive design?

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to designing websites aimed at providing the user with an optimal experience across a wide range of devices (desktop, tablet, mobile) and screen resolutions – good responsive design should be device agnostic. The objective is to provide a layout that minimises resizing, panning and scrolling to ensure that readability and navigation are tailored to the different sized screens from which the website can be accessed.

Should my school website be responsive?

Essentially, yes – it should. One can no longer discount mobile users or tablet users as in the minority, as they are not. In actual fact they will very soon be in the majority. Responsive design makes sense in that providing users with the optimal user experience irrespective of their device can only be a good thing.

There’s good and bad responsive design...

Like good and bad design agencies, there is good and bad examples of responsive design. Here is a few things that schools should make sure they have covered with their new school website:

  • The mobile version should not be a trimmed down version of the main website. All content featured and functionality should be available for each layout (there is nothing more irritating than seeing something on the desktop site which can’t be accessed via the mobile one).
  • Mobile layouts should consider ‘touch screen devices’ and where hover states are present on the desktop version a suitable alternative needs to be provided.
  • Management should know the different ‘pinch points’ that the new website will respond to. These are essentially the different screen resolutions to which the website will be tailored.
  • A basic web app is not a mobile version (tut tut one of our so called competitors) and if the website is not available in mobile form then the website is not responsive.
  • Navigation should be optimised based upon the size of the screen available. Horizontal scrolling should be avoided completely and if necessary replaced with something more appropriate on smaller devices.
  • Video content should work on mobile devices. If your website requires the use of Flash to display video then speak to your website provider about a HTML5 alternative.
Responsive design for School Website customers

School Website continue to set standards. They've been providing a responsive design option to all of their school website customers for more than 18 months. If you are a primary, secondary, academy or independent school and would like to learn more about their responsive website design services for schools then call 0845 262 2030.

For more information on primary school website design, secondary school web design or prospectus design, visit the School Website at:


Contact Name:
Web Optimiser
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020 7953 8412