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April 12, 2012 / carlispina

Responsive Web Design Made Easy with The Responsinator

Over the past several years, the number of devices that can be used to access the internet has exploded. Now websites must be designed to cater to a wide range of smartphones, tablets, netbooks, laptops and desktops all with different screen sizes. To respond to this growing challenge, web developers have moved to responsive design, meaning designs that detect a device’s display size and reformat the site accordingly. One of the frustrations of responsive design can be testing your design across a range of devices at each step of the design process, which can involve bringing up the site on multiple devices or using multiple emulators throughout the process. The Responsinator is a new tool that makes this step of the process faster and easier. With The Responsinator, checking your site across multiple screen sizes is as easy as typing the URL into the box and hitting enter. The Responsinator then shows how the site will look on the iPhone (which is the same as an iPod Touch), two size of Androids, the iPad and the Kindle. For each device, The Responsinator shows the site in both portrait and landscape display modes. If you want to be able to check websites as you surf the web, The Responsinator also offers a bookmarklet that can be installed in your bookmark bar to allow you to instantly test a site you are on using The Responsinator. The Responsinator does have some drawbacks. First, it only works on websites that are already published to the web, so you will have to upload your website each time you want to use The Responsinator to test it. Second, it only tests for responsive design, not for sites that redirect to an entirely separate mobile website, meaning that it may be somewhat misleading if you use it to see whether a site offers a mobile layout. Finally, it does come with the caveat that you should check the final site on actual devices to ensure accuracy of its display. However, if you are looking for a quick way to see what a website looks like on a range of mobile devices or if you don’t have access to enough devices to test a web design project, The Responsinator can be a good way to get a hassle-free look at how your site looks to those on the go.

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One Comment

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  1. Tama Pugsley / Apr 12 2012 7:51 pm

    Hi thanks for writing about The Responsinator. It should in fact work with any site that your computer has access to regardless of whether it’s published to the internet or not. e.g. if you type localhost in the address bar and you have apache set up on your computer you’ll see the results.

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