I was 12 when we got our first computer. It was an Apple iMac – a top of the range, cathode ray tube monster with a funny one-button-mouse. My brother and I used to play Nanosaur and Solitaire on it.
When we got a phone line splitter, the dial-up internet was ours. After 6pm, the internet rates were cheaper so our parents enforced strict after-6 surfing rules. Every few months I would change my allegiance from Netscape Navigator to Internet Explorer and back again.
I soon discovered Yahoo GeoCities, registered an account and started learning HTML. Webpages back then were simply horrendous!
My earliest memory of creating a webpage in HTML was discovering that colour was spelled color. It took me an hour to figure out why my text would not turn red instead of black when I told it
Today, we are all running around with tablets and smartphones with not a care for the browsers of old. The mobile web has completely altered how web designers design. At the start, when mobile phones had primitive browsers, designers would create a totally separate website just for mobiles. This would have worked fine except for the development of other portable devices, enormous variation in screen sizes and advances in operating systems.
Responsive web design now means that you create one single website and apply rules to it so that it behaves well when you browse the website on your iPad Air 2, your Mum’s Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, your friend’s 5 year old Dell laptop…
Next time you want to check how responsive a website is, re-size your browser window until it becomes narrower and narrower. Do it now while you are reading this! See how all the individual section of the page begin to stack on top of each other? For a web designer, this stacking behaviour is inexplicably satisfying, but more importantly, for the user (or potential customer!) it means they can use your website when they have their iPhone in hand, running for a bus, Googling which restaurant to book for dinner tonight.
I highly recommend you spend time at this website: http://www.wonder-tonic.com/geocitiesizer/ and see where we were only a decade ago.