Responsive Websites | Adapt Or Perish: How Responsive Web Design Will Save Your Business
Responsive Websites | Considering the rate at which the mobile web is growing, it’s becoming essential that your website is ready to accept visitors who are coming in from a wide array of different devices and screen sizes. Website visitors expect a similar experience regardless of the device they are using. Therefore, if a person visits your website, and it is not optimized for their device, there is a good chance that they will end up leaving.
This is where responsive website design can come into the picture and save your day nicely. Responsive website design is a technique where you build your website only once, and then format it so it can adapt to any screen size that accesses it. However, with responsive design, as with anything in website design, you need to make sure that you follow along with some vital design practices if you want your responsive website to actually work well, and provide the flexibility it’s supposed to. Here are some tips that you will do well to keep in mind, if you want to design a perfectly responsive website.
Prioritize Content | Responsive Websites
The goal of responsive website design is to provide the best user experience possible in any context. Building a responsive website is the perfect time to rethink your content strategy to make your website more readable and accessible, regardless of what device it’s being accessed on. It is content that makes a website what it is; there is no doubting this fact. But, if you are creating a responsive website, you need to think along the lines of ‘minimum content, maximum impact.’
It’s vital that you understand how your different page elements are used by your visitors, because it makes it easier to determine which elements can be removed to boost performance. Not everything on desktop needs to be on the mobile version. A good method is to collapse into drop-down navigation, so it is only seen when the user wants it.
Mobile-First Approach | Responsive Websites
Design for the smallest screen that you want your website to render on, and then go upwards. It’s a lot easier to create a website for the smallest screen first, because when you work your way upwards, all you need to do is go up a series of breakpoint steps, of around 200 pixels or so. The mobile first approach is also a mindset; you should keep in mind that your visitors are most likely going to be in a “mobile” state while visiting your website, as opposed to sitting at a desk. They may be outside, doing the laundry, watching TV, or even shopping, so it’s very important that the website is consolidated and focused.
Make Your Images Flexible And Workable | Responsive Websites
One challenge that comes with responsive design is working with images. With an incredible range of screen sizes and resolutions, websites need to be able to display images effectively on everything from a 27” iMac to an iPhone. They need to be fluid to scale in order to fit both the viewport and the text size. With a simple design, you can make your images flexible as well to a certain degree. The easiest way to accomplish this is by simply using adaptive sizing and re-sizing their width.
Don’t Limit Functionality | Responsive Websites
Keep in mind that mobile devices have limited capabilities compared to desktop computers. You should test your website throughout every stage of the design process in order to make sure key features of the desktop version actually work on a mobile device. Design for fingers, not just cursors! Everyone can appreciate a good-sized button that works the first time they click. On the other hand, besides creating larger buttons on mobile, making the content area a clickable link is another effective way to solve the problem.
Only Performance Matters | Responsive Websites
Responsive website design may be cheap to implement but it should be planned from the start. Applying responsive design to a website serving 1Mb+ pages will never result in an optimal experience on devices operating over a mobile network. No matter how cool your site is, if it doesn’t load fast enough, the user won’t be impressed. Your site needs to respond to the low bandwidth.