Mashable.com recently launched a new design. All “responsive”. While the definition of “Responsive Web Design” is to use media queries, flexible images and fluid grids, Mashable, on others, are now using the term for any site which can adapt it self to different viewport sizes, but also devices, browser capabilities and other “contextual properties”.
Wrong? No. Makes sense. This is more like “Adaptive Design”, but mixing it with RWD makes very much sense. This is how all (mobile) web projects should be implemented.
In the case of Mashable, we also detect the type of device and change the site’s behavior accordingly. On touch devices, for instance, we enable swiping between columns. (Technically, detecting device functionalities may be referred to as “adaptive design,” rather than “responsive,” but increasingly both approaches are used in tandem.)
And the key selling phrase:
The benefits are obvious: You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens.
Sounds romantic… Still, there are tools to help. whateverweb.com is a project that will launch early next year which will help implementing responsive and adaptive designs for “thousands of different screens”.