After a lot of experience with mobile-first responsive design, I recently got a weird question from a visual designer colleague:

"Why do we have to design mobile websites at minimum resolution of 320px and mobile web apps at minimum resolution of 480px?"

After hearing it, I was thoroughly confused if it's even a valid question or not.

I know mobile browsers expose high dpi screens as lower resolutions on several current-gen phones, but is that the real reason for this design approach?

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  • Who decided that you have to design for these resolutions? Ask the person who made that decision. The world at general cannot know what went through their heads, or even if the discrepancy was intentional. – Rumi P. Apr 15 '15 at 8:24
  • I realized that my first comment was maybe a bit abrupt for somebody very new to the site, sorry. Ravish, you are welcome here, but this community is a bit more stringent about content than others. I cannot know where you learned that you "have to" design for these resolutions, but these numbers are not universal, even if they may seem to you that way. It is probably random chance that the guidelines you got for both cases differ. So, your question starts out with a false assumption, and has no answer, just like the question "why is the sky orange" has no answer. This is why I voted to (cont) – Rumi P. Apr 15 '15 at 8:35
  • (cont) close this question. Please don't see this as an attack on you. It happens to all of us that our questions get closed, but this does not have bad consequences for the person who asked them. You are welcome to participate with answers and with more questions even if this one gets closed. – Rumi P. Apr 15 '15 at 8:38
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because you're simply stating something as a fact (without any support), and then asking for the reasoning behind this "fact" that has yet to be established. – JohnGB Apr 15 '15 at 11:42
  • @RumiP. no offense taken! Thanks for the heads up. Would my elaboration of the question help? It's not my question really, as I choose to design always on vector with the aspect ratio in mind, but I recently joined a design studio where everyone is more used to Photoshop and bitmap design and they have this as a rule. I was just wondering if there's any backing to that rule. Thanks! – Ravish Malik Apr 16 '15 at 10:25

nah, nothing says that you have to design with minimum specific resolution.

nowadays, we should design for multi-resolution mobile device, especially android devices. The best way to design is you should prepare your website or apps to be viewed in different screen ratio (like 16:9, 4:3, 3:2, etc)

make sure that your app/web layout looks good in any kind of screen ratio (e.g. positioning and resizing). For picture resources, usually I would go with highest resolution available, but its better to give different picture size for different screen ratio

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