:heart: React

Four types of responsiveness in React

December 14, 2018

With React — a reactive / responsive framework — it’s time to rethink the responsiveness of a website.

In most cases, on the large web, responsiveness means the site is adapting to the device screen size using media queries.

Since Frank Chimero’s original article we know this is not enough. Why? There are too many devices, and there will be much more which cannot be covered by media queries.

Instead, we should let every component of the site be aware of its size and respond accordingly to changes. This way the final site can be assembled automagically even in unknown and uncertain conditions.

This idea is familiar with React: every component is in charge of, and manages its own state. That should be true also for plain CSS elements. There is a work in progress towards a general protocol but W3C, as usual, is catching up very slow, thus CSS Element Queries are not a standard yet.

Fortunately React has plenty of libraries and ways to make elements be aware of their dimension and act upon changes.

We have the following individual scenarios which can be combined when necessary:

  1. Global state — Elements are aware of each other’s state and can act upon changes collectively.
  2. React Measure — An element is aware of its measures and can react to changes.
  3. Element Queries — An element’s style can perform element queries to react to changes inside style.
  4. Media Queries — An element’s style can perform classic media queries and react when device screen size is changed.



To React with best practices. Written by @metamn.