Web Page Development | Why Responsive Web Design Has To Win Out
Web Page Development | Everyone who is anyone is talking about responsive design these days — and everyone definitely has a strong opinion about it. But, whether you love it or hate it, responsive design is bound to go mainstream. Responsive design is an approach where you build your web page once and then format it so it can adapt to any screen size that accesses it. As more and more traffic goes through the burgeoning mobile market, responsive web design has replaced the strategy of creating multiple websites for different devices.
It’s practically essential after all: one design that suits PC, the iPhone, the iPad, laptop, Kindle — and all screen resolutions are compatible, too. In the next five years, we’ll likely have to design for a number of new inventions. Think Google Glass, or iWatch. When will the madness stop? It won’t, of course. It’s not a surprise that responsive web design has become the new buzz word. This emerging trend is not about fashion or aesthetics; it is rather an attempt to solve usability problems that arise due to the various devices used to browse the Internet.
Prioritize Content | Web Page Development
It is content that makes a website what it is; there is no doubt about it. But, if you are designing a responsive web page, you need to think along the lines of ‘minimum content, maximum impact’. As the screen size narrows, the amount of content is reduced. Not everything on the desktop version needs to be on the mobile version too. The responsive web page design is also a mindset; the realization that your viewers are most likely going to be in a “mobile” state while viewing your site as opposed to sitting at a desk. A train company would typically highlight ticket buying on desktop computers, and station directions on mobile devices.
Mobile First | Web Page Development
Think of the mobile-first approach as designing around smaller screens first. Once you have a design for the smallest practical screen, you can work upwards. Starting with a mobile first approach and designing with progressive enhancement covers all bases, helps you focus and prioritize the constraints of mobile design, while you build new innovative experiences and capabilities. It is also important to remember when you work your way upwards so that the design responds to bigger screen with just a tweak, here and there. No large scale changes are necessary.
Design for Fingers, Not Just Cursors | Web Page Development
This is not just for tech-savvy grandmothers. Everyone can appreciate a good-sized button that works the first time they tap on it. Consider touch gestures such as pinch to zoom, swipe to change a page, tap and hold to copy, define text etc. Although some of these gestures are not supported by traditional pointing devices such as computer mice, your responsive web page should be built to support multiple input methods.
Build Fluidly | Web Page Development
Your site looks great on a desktop, but what happens when your user switches to a tablet? Although tablet devices have the same — if not more than — the screen resolution of desktop monitors, they still limit images to a 9-inch screen vs. a standard 22-inch monitor. One challenge that comes with responsive design is working with visual content. Images need to be fluid to scale to fit both the viewport and the text size. Properly scaled media also applies to video, which should be flexible and scale with the viewport.
Compress Files for Low Bandwidth | Web Page Development
No matter how cool your web page is, if it doesn’t load fast enough, the user won’t be impressed. Studies show how your website can affect your users’ bounce rate — the percentage of visits that last for just one page. This means every second added to your website’s loading time will cause more users to drop off, and likely never return to your web page, which can directly translate into revenue loss.
Building a responsive version of your site gives you a chance to remove unnecessary distraction and content that might increase load time on a mobile device or confound the user. That huge Flash banner you proudly placed at the top of your site to showcase your latest deals might be a great idea for desktop users, but on a mobile device the story is a bit different. As of the end of 2013, 55 percent of Android devices do not support Flash (by having Jelly Bean and KitKat installed). And, like in all the iOS devices out there, the majority of devices on the market currently do not support the Flash plugin.