Responsive Web Design Patterns

Layout shifter

The layout shifter pattern is the most responsive to with multiple breakpoints across several screen widths.

Key to this layout is the way content moves about, instead of reflowing and dropping below other columns. Due to the significant differences between each major breakpoint, it is more complex to maintain and likely involves changes within elements, not just overall content layout.

Try it

This simplified example shows the layout shifter pattern, on smaller screens content is stacked vertically, but changes significantly as the screen becomes larger, with a left div and two stacked div’s on the right.

Sites using this pattern include:

    .container {
      display: -webkit-flex;
      display: flex;
      -webkit-flex-flow: row wrap;
      flex-flow: row wrap;

    .c1, .c2, .c3, .c4 {
      width: 100%;

    @media (min-width: 600px) {
      .c1 {
        width: 25%;

      .c4 {
        width: 75%;


    @media (min-width: 800px) {
      .container {
        width: 800px;
        margin-left: auto;
        margin-right: auto;
View full sample

Updated on 2014-04-30


Pete LePage

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