Mobile Website Design Tips | Responsive Design – A Buzz Word Or Web Designer’s Way Forward?
Mobile Website Design Tips | Designers have it tougher now than ever before. You not only have to design your website for desktop computers, but also mobile devices like tablets and smartphones, and since we are talking about a lot of different screen sizes and resolutions here, it’s a huge task to shoulder. Considering the rate at which the mobile internet is growing, it’s becoming vital that your website is ready to accept visitors that are coming in from a widely assorted array of devices and screen sizes. This is where responsive design can come into the picture and save the day.
Many website owners say to themselves, “I want my website to look great on mobile, but I don’t know where to start.” It’s not surprising then that responsive web design (RWD) has become the new buzz word. This emerging trend is not about fashion or appearance; it is rather an attempt to solve usability problems that arise due to the different devices used to access the internet. In this article we look at several tips to help with your design process and make it more efficient.
Get Rid Of Non-Essential Content | Mobile Website Design Tips
This first consideration is less a design thing than a planning thing, but it’s crucial. In order to make your mobile friendly responsive design website really shine in a very easy way, simply bear one thing in mind: Some content and content elements were never meant to be used in a mobile context, and would never work there. Get rid of the content that’s not essential. You can do this by adding a .not_mobile class to specific elements that you’d like to see removed when your website is viewed on a mobile device, or you can simply get rid of such elements permanently from all versions of your website.
Make Your Images Flexible And Workable | Mobile Website Design Tips
Mobile users may not be looking to stream videos, but images are a whole different story. These are also the biggest culprits when it comes to layouts breaking out of the box model. With a simple design, you can make your images flexible as well to a certain degree. The easiest way to achieve this is by simply using adaptive sizing and re-sizing their width.
It’s All About The Touch | Mobile Website Design Tips
A majority of smartphones today use touchscreen interfaces, which creates a scenario different from mouse-and-keyboard setups. Mobile screens are touch enabled and usually human fingers are used to handle them — so, the buttons shouldn’t be too small. According to Apple: the comfortable minimum size of tappable user interface elements is 44 x 44 pixels. Mobile users do not have the luxury of a large screens afforded on desktops or even laptop computers. You have to keep buttons big, up-front, tappable and readable at all costs.
Performance | Mobile Website Design Tips
This is a hot topic in responsive web design. One of the “knocks” on responsive web design is that, if not done right, it can perform poorly, and drive up load time. Use a program such as GZIP to compress your page resources for easier transmission across networks. You’ll lower the number of bytes sent per page or element, make your content easier to browse, and access from devices with varying or low bandwidth. Designers love to load the page with beautiful, full-width photos and videos, which can be great. Just make sure you keep performance in mind.
Breakpoints | Mobile Website Design Tips
Inevitably, there are going to be things that you either don’t anticipate or don’t know how to handle when content is displayed in smaller view-ports. That’s okay. As content is the cornerstone of the internet, it makes sense to take a device agnostic approach, and set breakpoints according to your content. Explore your design to find the points where it naturally breaks down and adjust. You may also want to add some additional breakpoints including device-specific ones to get the best appearance for the most commonly-used devices if you want to.
Responsive web design is a complex issue but makes websites readily available to a wider consumer base. The goal is to make your website as attractive and functional as possible for all of the devices your clients use to access it, while also remaining easy to maintain. In time, it will become a must for website designers to know and will evolve into more than mobile devices (ever heard of smart TV?), so it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse.