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Responsive Web Design Fundamentals

Google via Udacity


In this course you'll learn the fundamentals of responsive web design with Google's Pete LePage! You'll create your own responsive web page that works well on any device - phone, tablet, desktop or anything in between.

You’ll start by exploring what makes a site responsive and how some common responsive design patterns work across different devices. From there, you’ll learn how to create your own responsive layout using the viewport tag and CSS media queries. As you proceed, you’ll experiment with major and minor breakpoints, and optimizing text for reading.

Why Take This Course?

The way people browse the web is changing quickly - fewer and fewer users access the web at a desk in front of a large monitor with a keyboard and mouse. The web is increasingly being enjoyed on phones, tablets, wearables, TVs and everything in between. By designing a site to be responsive, it will look good and work well no matter what device your users have in front of them.

Throughout this course, you'll work through a project creating a home town website that works well on phones, tablets and desktop displays.



This course consists of 5 lessons. The first one is an overview of responsive design and introduces the way you’ll need to shift your thinking as you go from desktop first design, to responsive design. Lessons 2, 3, 4 and 5 will cover the important theoretical concepts of responsive design, and include plenty of hands-on exercises implementing what you’ve learned.

Lesson 1 - Why Responsive?

What is responsive web design and why is it important? What kinds of devices should we be targeting with our design? How can we best leverage the different capabilities of each device to provide great experiences to users? You’ll also make sure that your development environment is ready to go.

Topics covered:

  • What is responsive design?
  • Why does responsive design work for any device?
  • Remote debugging and emulation in the browser

Lesson 2 - Starting Small

The best way to get started is to start small and build up. In this lesson, we’ll cover the key components that make a site great on a small screen, including setting the viewport, adding content and sizing the content to the viewport. You’ll start the home town site project, by making sure that it looks good on a small screen.

Topics covered:

  • Why start small and build up?
  • What is the viewport?
  • Sizing the content to the viewport
    • avoiding static sized items
  • Touch targets, and why they should be large

Lesson 3 - Building Up

Once you’ve got a page optimized for small screens, it’s time to start thinking about how they’ll look on larger screens. Learn how to use CSS media queries to add breakpoints that change the layout depending on the screen size or other device characteristics.

Topics covered:

  • CSS media queries
  • What is a breakpoint, and how to choose one
  • Using the CSS flexbox to modify layout

Lesson 4 - Common Responsive Patterns

Now that you’ve got the basics of responsive design down, you’ll learn about and practice some of the common layout design patterns used across sites. You'll also iterate on the home town site project, creating breakpoints for tablet and desktop layouts using the patterns from this lesson.

Topics covered:

  • Mostly fluid pattern
  • Column drop pattern
  • Layout shifter pattern
  • Off canvas pattern

Lesson 5 - Optimizations

Learn strategies for minor breakpoints used to adjust the margins or padding on an element, or increase the font size to make it feel more natural in the layout. You’ll also learn about strategies for dealing with tables and optimal text readability. At the end of the lesson, you'll iterate for the last time on the home town site, adding minor breakpoints to really make the experience stand out.

Topics covered:

  • Minor break points
  • Optimizing text layout
    • font size
    • optimal line length
  • Responsive tables, and strategies for dealing with them

Taught by

Pete LePage

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4.6 rating, based on 9 reviews

Start your review of Responsive Web Design Fundamentals

  • Bobby Brady completed this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    This course offers up a lot of industry standard tips and tricks. Having played with responsive sites for a few years now, it really provided me with a surprising amount of information on DIPs, Viewports and the proper use of Media Queries. I have not seen content like this elsewhere as most courses simply iterate the syntax over and over again without explaining the why (think Code Academy). The in-browser tests used with Chrome Dev Tools for the mini quizzes was a fantastic addition that I hope to see used more often. To get the most out of this course you need a solid foundation of HTML & CSS to understand the concepts here.
  • Charles Montgomery Burns completed this course, spending 15 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.

    The course is simple and informative but be wary, you need to have at the very least a basic understanding of HTML5 and CSS3. One of the projects requires a rudimentary knowledge of Javascript but the rest of the projects are very straight-forward. You...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course combines an appreciation of the formal aspects of structuring and conducting design reviews with an exploration of the ‘softer’ skills required to ensure that reviews engage all those who need to take part and prepare them to carry out their role in a way that delivers the best possible outcomes - designs for products that better meet customer requirements and are easier and cheaper to manufacture.
  • Panos Gr completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    It is a GREAT course to help you dip your toes into the ocean that is Responsive Web Design. It does not go into great depths in the things it mentions but rather eases you into the material and the ideology of RWD showing you at the same time the implementation.
    Some knowledge of HTML and CSS is required to breeze through the class, however this is , in a way , the successor to the HTML & CSS class taught in the same program so nothing less should be expected.
    For me it was an enlightening experience and I recommend it to anyone who wishes to dwelve deeper into the mysteries of Web Development!!
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