Save 37% off PRO during our Black Friday Sale! »

Responsive Images in 10 minutes

Responsive Images in 10 minutes

A 10 minute roundup of responsive image options for our Front End Tech Team meeting.


James Ford

March 27, 2014


  1. Responsive Images in 10 minutes Responsive Images Responsi ve Images

    Resp onsiv e Image s
  2. Screen Size. Pixel Density. Image Focus. Layout.

  3. Bonus: Art direction..

  4. Flipboard does Responsive really well..

  5. What are the options? • Don’t do anything* • Use

    the srcset attribute • Use the Picture element • Use SVG (the Clown Car technique) • Use Javascript
  6. Do nothing* Link: Available for: Everything* Pros: Makes every

    default element ‘fluid’ by default. Mobile first? Cons: It’s still loading the same resources on any platform. Doesn’t really solve the underlying issue, but it’s a cheap hack. img,canvas,iframe,video,svg { max-width:100% } .overflow-container { overflow-y:scroll; -webkit-overflow-scrolling:touch }
  7. srcset attribute Useful links: Available for: Chrome desktop, Safari

    desktop Pros: Graceful degradation to src attribute. Cons: Polyfill = loading 2 files, Doesn’t solve every problem. Polyfill:
  8. picture element Useful links: Pros: More flexible than srcset,

    taps directly into media queries Cons: Spec isn’t final, so not production ready. Polyfill:
  9. SVG (the Clown Car technique) for-adaptive-images-in-responsive-web-design/ Available for: Chrome,

    Firefox, Safari, IE9+ Pros: Widely supported, now. Gracefully degrades. Full media query support. Solves art direction issues. Cons: Fugly markup. Creation is really complex.
  10. Javascript Available for: Everything* Pros: • Works everywhere*. • Effective

    if you use data-attributes, or polyfill-type approach. • Allows you to combine art-direction data with image resources. Cons: • Needs an accessible fallback, which means loading more images. • Doing things with Javascript is less efficient than having the browser do the same task, and it’s also slower. • It can be render-blocking. • It can’t detect network quality.
  11. So, the future.

  12. Is the <picture> element. Media queries & multiple sources, without

    messy syntax.
  13. But what about now?

  14. Use srcset + polyfill But avoid making multiple requests. (consider

    using it only for desktop resolutions)
  15. What about SVG? If we could make them easier to

    manage, I’d say use them all the time.
  16. Responsive Icons Iconic: SVG is really freakin’ cool.