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15+ Comprehensive Responsive Web Design Tutorials


I’ve gathered some good and comprehensive tutorials about Responsive Web Design, for you to discover how to make your website more readable and efficient across various screen sizes and devices.

If you haven’t heard about responsive web design these last 2 years then you’ve probably lived under a rock? For those who really never heard of Responsive Web Design, here’s a quick definition by Wikipedia:

Responsive web design (often abbreviated to RWD) is an approach to web design in which a site is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

Responsive website design can be the answer in many cases. A responsive website means quite literally that it responds properly to all devices and screen sizes. It is done by scaling down or re-organizing content on the page using some CSS and HTML trickery, in order to create the best possible user experience on your site.

In this post I would like to share 18 useful responsive design tutorials to help you get started with responsive designing including fluid grids, fluid images and media queries. So, let’s get started ..

Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Web Design

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned web professional, creating responsive designs can be confusing at first, mostly because of the radical change in thinking that’s required. As time goes on, responsive web design is drifting away from the pool of passing fads and rapidly entering the realm of standard practice. In fact, the magnitude of this paradigm shift feels as fundamental as the transition from table based layouts to CSS.


How To Use CSS3 Media Queries To Create a Mobile Version of Your Website

In this article Rachel Andrew will explain you how, with a few CSS rules, you can create an iPhone version of your site using CSS3, that will work now. You’ll have a look at a very simple example and she will also discuss the process of adding a small screen device stylesheet to your own site to show how easily you can add stylesheets for mobile devices to existing websites.


Techniques in Responsive Web Design

CSS3 media queries allow us to dynamically alter the design and layout of a web page in order to deliver an optimal user experience from a single set of HTML and CSS markup. The techniques in this article explain how we can leverage this powerful capability of CSS to also change imagery, alter the navigation on hand-held devices, and set up default CSS for compatibility older browsers.


Responsive CSS that scales

CSS for a big site is different to CSS for a small, or even medium sized-site. The way CSS was intended, when you create a new piece of functionality for your website you simply write some new CSS to style it – easy. This works well for a small website as because it gives you direct control over every element. For a medium-sized site you can scale your CSS by applying a few HTML patterns to your features, then simply writing your CSS to style those patterns rather than the features individually.


Build a Responsive Site in a Week: Designing Responsively

Interested in responsive web design but not sure how to get started? Don’t fret, help is at hand! As part of Responsive Week, Clearleft’s Paul Robert Lloyd will talk us through the responsive design process, soup to nuts. In 5 parts, he’ll guide you through a technique that recognises this fact: responsive web design. Combining fluid layouts, flexible images and media queries to help us build sites that gracefully adapt to any environment they encounter.


Optimizing Typography in Responsive Web Design

Typography, though essentially always deemed important, is rarely given the weightage it deserves when it comes to responsive web design. In this article, we will be discussing typography vis a vis responsive web design. Our focus will be on typography strictly in relation to responsive web design only. Even though many people are unaware or simply overlook this fact, but responsive design comes loaded with macro typographic issues such as line height, column width, etc.


Techniques For Gracefully Degrading Media Queries

CSS3 media queries, which include the browser width variable, are supported by most modern Web browsers. Media queries are the third pillar in Ethan Marcotte’s implementation of responsive design. Without media queries, fluid layouts would struggle to adapt to the array of screen sizes on the hundreds of devices out there. Mobile and desktop browsers that lack support will present a subpar experience to the user unless we step up and take action. Lewis Nyman outlines some of techniques that developers can follow to address this problem.


dbp - responsive-design
fig.01: Responsive site of De Best en Partners

Really Simple Responsive Menu

I’ve seen this type of responsiveness on a couple of sites and wanted to replicate here because it offers maximum viewing space for the site content without sacrificing functionality for small screen users. The menu displayed is the exact same menu on larger screens so there’s no excess markup and we use progressive enhancement to add the show/hide functionality for Javascript enabled browsers so if your mobile browser doesn’t support JS you’ll see the menu expanded by default.


Big Menus, Small Screens: Responsive, Multi-Level Navigation

If you’ve ever worked on a responsive website, you’ve no doubt had to tackle one of the trickiest problems in this emerging field: navigation. In this approach to responsive navigation, we’re going to use an approach that can accommodate large, multi-level navigation menus using media queries and jQuery, whilst trying to keep our markup simple and our external resources minimal.


Responsive Menu Concepts

Tim Pietrusky wrote a great post about responsive menus with various techniques on how to best handle altering our navigation menus for small screens. All menu concepts in this article are based on this simple HTML structure. The role attribute is used to specify the particular concept (full-horizontal, select, custom-dropdown and off-canvas).


How to Build a Responsive Thumbnail Gallery

One major component of mastering responsive design is to figure out how to approach specific tasks and adjust to problems as they arise within the context of larger projects. One day you’ll be working on a project and will need a responsive gallery


How to create Media Queries in Responsive Web Design

Ryan Boudreaux shows how media queries open up the spectrum of possibilities with the “media” attribute that controls how the styles get applied. Media queries takes the previous scheme to the next level by allowing us to target styles based on a number of device properties, including screen width, orientation, resolution, and others. Media queries allow us to target not only certain devices and classes of devices, but it allows us to actually inspect the physical characteristics of the device.


Responsive Design with CSS3 Media Queries

Users no longer just browse the web with desktop computers. Users now use mobile phones, small notebooks, tablet devices such as iPad or Playbook to access the web. So the traditional fixed width design doesn’t work any more. Web design needs to be adaptive. The layout needs to be automatically adjusted to fit all display resolution and devices. This tutorial will show you how to create a cross-browser responsive design with HTML5 & CSS3 media queries.


Responsive Data Tables

Tables are a source of headaches when it comes to small screen sizes but that doesn’t mean that we need to completely avoid tables. Learn how to use media queries to make your table change formats completely when you switch to mobile screen sizes. View the demo to get an idea of the magic you can make based on this tutorial.


Creating Stylish Responsive Form With CSS3 And HTML5

In this tutorial by Jake Rocheleau showcases many of these cool CSS3 effects. For this tutorial a simple web form using some of the newer HTML5 input type is builts. The layout is also responsive; it will adapt as the window size is reduced. This situation is perfect for building web forms to support smartphone users.


Which Responsive Images Solution should you use?

There are a bunch of techniques going around for dealing with responsive images lately. That is, solutions to help us serve the right image for the occasion (e.g. size of screen and bandwidth available). They all do things a bit differently. To choose which technique is right for you and your project these questions may help as a guide. Many of the questions may apply to your project, so you’ll have to sort out which techniques fit what scenarios and find the overlap.


Create a Responsive Web Design with Media Queries

If you’ve yet to get your hands dirty with media queries, now is your chance to create your first responsive website design. In this tutorial we’ll look at converting one of my previous WordPress theme designs into a responsive layout, while taking into consideration the design’s original grid structure. We can then get started with CSS media queries to add the responsive functionality to our design.


Creating a Mobile-First Responsive Web Design

Brad Frost is showing us how to create a site that’s truly designed for mobile context and not just for small screens, ensuring that we tackle the many challenges of mobile development upfront. The constraints of the mobile context force us to focus on what content is essential and how to present that content as quickly as possible. Building fast-loading, optimized experiences mobile first has a trickle down (or up, depending on how you look at it) effect for tablet, desktop and other emerging contexts.


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In case you want more articles, tutorials and/or examples of RWD, please check my scoop.it page! Since January 2012,  I’m collecting all articles about Responsive Web Design I come across on the big blogosphere. Follow me on scoop.it if you want to stay up to date with all these article.


Author: Jan Rajtoral

Jan Rajtoral AKA Gonzo the Great is the Founder of and Designer at gonzodesign, providing design services across the full spectrum of Brand Identity, Graphic Design, Print and Advertising Design & Website Design.


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  1. Really nice blog. I liked the content of your blog.

    • Hi Loron,

      Yep, this is a nice trick! I usually use fitvids, but it uses also some jQuery to make responsive vids work (the principle of keeping proper ratio is the same tho, with the padding-bottom hack). But looks interesting cuz you’ll need one http-request less (loading asynchronous JS)! Enjoy your weekend, and once again, thanks for the link! Cheers & Ciao!