Responsive Web Design 101 | Need To Connect With Your Customers? It’s Time To Get Responsive!
Responsive Web Design 101 | Responsive website design is more than just a buzzword. Considering the rise of mobile devices, having a responsive website that is optimized for viewing regardless of device is no longer optional, but a necessity. Over a billion users access the internet using mobile devices worldwide. Approximately 34% of smartphone owners use only their phones to search the web. These people don’t use laptop or desktop computers to go online anymore. Keep in mind that both of these numbers are expected to go up, as more and more people start using smartphones and other mobile devices. Is your website ready?
In a nutshell, responsive web design enables you to build a website that reformats its content depending on what device it is being viewed on. Clearly, a website will look and act very differently on a 27-inch desktop monitor, and on a 9-inch tablet. Responsive design takes these differences into consideration to make sure that the user experience is always optimized. A responsive design simply means a website is built so that all of the content, images, and structure of the website remain the same on every device. For example, when a visitor enters a website on their desktop computer, they are getting the full view of it. But when that same user goes to open the website on their smartphone or tablet, the website will adapt to fit on the smaller screen.
Consider Mobile First | Responsive Web Design 101
More content than ever is consumed on mobile devices, rather than the traditional desktop, which means that mobile-friendly design shouldn’t be an afterthought. Whether starting a new project or refreshing an existing website, beginning with responsive design ensures a user-friendly, intuitive interaction across the board. Starting with a mobile first approach, and designing with progressive enhancement to accommodate bigger screens covers all bases, helps you focus and prioritize the constraints of mobile design, while you build new innovative experiences and capabilities.
Clear And Concise Content | Responsive Web Design 101
In order to make your mobile-friendly responsive website really shine in a very simple to achieve way, simply keep one thing in mind: Some content and content elements were never meant to be used in a mobile context, and would never work there. Simplicity is a responsive website’s best friend. Users want to get to their destination point within the website without having to work or think too hard, with minimum taps and swipes. Avoid the boring large sections of text, but most importantly, take a good look at your content strategy as a whole. You may find that if content isn’t needed on a mobile site, it may not belong on the desktop version of the website either.
Minimize Navigation On Smaller Screens | Responsive Web Design 101
If you have just two or three navigational items on a page, list them at the top. But if you’ve got four or five, use a navigational icon at the top of the page instead, and include a simple drop-down menu with navigational choices. This leaves more space for focusing on the content of the page. Keeping functionality simple not only optimizes a website for mobile, but can also enhance its desktop design.
Use Scalable Images | Responsive Web Design 101
One challenge that comes with responsive design is working with images. With an incredible range of screen sizes and resolutions, websites need a way to deliver images effectively to everything from a 27” iMac to a 4” iPod. They need to be fluid to scale and fit both the browser and the text size. With a simple design, you can make your images flexible as well to a certain degree. The simplest way to achieve this is by simply using adaptive sizing and re-sizing their width. Consider using smaller sizes, alternate graphics, or compress images so they’ll load quickly on a mobile network connection. As a rule of thumb, take the lead from Google Developers, who say that content above the fold on a mobile device should load in under one second, while the whole page should load in under 2 seconds.
Design For Touch | Responsive Web Design 101
Don’t forget that your visitors will be navigating your website with fingers, rather than a mouse or other point-and-click devices, so provide a lot of spacing between buttons, images, and links. We all know the frustration of making accidental choices due to inaccurate aim.