A responsive design refers to providing a good user experience across a wide range of podiums, whether PC, laptop, Smartphone or tablet.
It is born from the point that we users use multiple screens for viewing the content and that the content must automatically respond to meet the screen size.
What is meant by responsive design?
For contemporary websites, a good user experience is based on responsive design. Decade ago, users browsed the web through their desktop with a monitor. However, these days there are various more choices available.
The agenda of a responsive design is to build a good user experience to the extent possible across various devices, even if the design might appear a little different.
For example, you might present data/ information in a column on a tablet or smartphone and 2 columns for desktop or laptop. However, the content and branding will stay exactly the same.
A responsive design promises reduced scrolling, zooming, panning, and most importantly confusion. It is designed to make the users experience enjoyable, irrespective of the device they are using for site view.
What is the purpose of using responsive design?
Creating a good user experience is crucial for the longevity of any business. Remember, your website in today’s time is an augmentation of your physical organization.
When a specific customer steps into your store, you may greet him, offer him a beverage and ask him what exactly is he looking for.
This is all about creating a good physical experience, which would make the customer return to your store again.
Similar ideas are true on the internet as well. More enjoyable and simple a user’s experience with the website more is the likelihood that they would remain there, browse, make new buys and even return down the line in case of any requirement.
Just give a thought to the online experience. Would you return to a site that took a lot of minutes to fully load, was not user-friendly on mobile or just refused to work easily. The answer would be ‘NO’.
This is a primary reason why one must make their web design properly on all their devices. They should ensure it is a responsive design.
Moreover, Google factors in this point whether a particular website is user/mobile friendly for their search engine algorithms.
It simply means more responsive sites would be ranked higher than the non responsive ones when conducting an online search.
Here I will list some effective ways to create a responsive design for your website:
Opt for fluid grid
Years ago the maximum of the websites were just laid out on the basis of the measurement known as pixel. However, now web designers have swiftly shifted to a fluid grid.
Grid sizes various elements of the website in a proportionate manner, rather than creating one specific size for them. It makes it simple when sizing elements for various screens. The element responds as per the screen size and not the pixel size.
Responsive grids often are broken down into columns, where the widths and heights are scaled. Width and height are not fixed, instead the various proportions entirely depend on the screen size.
By modifying websites CSS and various other code, web designers can set rules for the grid.
Use mobile-first approach
As photos and videos created for the landscape orientation might not perform well for the portrait, thus testing multimedia on mobile first is crucial.
Fine detailing like background elements or facial expression can get difficult to read clearly in small screen sizes. Moreover, there is often limited space for a single pic at a time.
If your design is extremely image heavy on desktop first, scrolling through every image on mobile device might get redundant.
Simplify your web content
At times when you as a web browser evaluate a mobile version of a website, you may find the content is not as rich as shown on desktop.
For creating copy and designing elements for mobile websites, the primary rule is to simplify everything.
Do not go for fancy design elements
For a mobile search the primary agenda is to avail an answer from brands as efficiently and quickly to the extent possible.
It means when creating your mobile friendly site, ensure to forgo all the fancy design ideas/elements and choose a simple and quick approach.
Do not use refreshers and pop ups
Refreshers and pop ups are good tool in case of desktop viewing. In events of capturing new subscribers, giving discount codes and making announcements, they are extremely useful.
However, when mobile devices are concerned they can be extremely distracting. Your basic goal must be to create content that is easy and simple for your website visitors to easily navigate through.
If your target visitor views any unrelated pop ups taking up the entire phone screen, it may lead to the customer to get frustrated and opt out of the website. Also, clicking on the small pop up X box on the mobile screen is nearly impossible.
One of the best alternatives can be to add in at the top of the mobile search – a small bar where announcements, promotions and free shippings can be mentioned.
Factor in the buttons and font size
On your mobile device, have you ever visited the blog section and zoomed in to read the content? Any idea how long you kept reading?
The mobile site font must be 14 px at least. It makes it simple for most users to read the content easily. For those having a copy, which is supplemental, ensure to keep the font size at 12 px.
Note that, reading blogs on mobile is not the only time, your design element comes under the focus. It is also crucial that you design clickable buttons if any in a correct manner.
This assures visitors to easily select the product by tapping on the button. Designing bigger buttons can make it easier for the users to click on the button. Button sizes should be nearly 44 px by 44 px.
Navigation is the next area that often gets complex basis the number of options and destinations a user is provided with.
While desktop websites can have a full header navigation bar with various main and sub-menus, it is standard to contain all of it within a recognizable, simple icon when considering a mobile.
To style the actual menu, one of the most common approaches should be to slide out the sidebar that overlays a portion of the screen with navigation options.
Doing so enables the menu to effectively operate on a single dimension from the remaining page content, which leaves room for mobile users to simply tap out of the menu and get back to the last screen.
Collapse secondary content
Websites on desktop generally have room for product specs, in-dept body copy, and various other content.
As mobile sites need info/data to be precise and on point, web designers should shorten or remove all the non-essential content. It is here expandable/collapsible sections come to play.
Collapsing content refers to creating explanatory data optional with the help of an icon like plus or triangle sign, which reveals or expands the hidden content.
Though hiding of content may sound a bad plan, the gains generated from simplified browsing through persuasive headlines outweighs the possibility of a missed content.
Design mobile-friendly website
With the growth in global web traffic, mobile site browsing can clearly be seen as a way of future. Tips mentioned above in this article will cater you with a practical solution in reference to most mobile friendly site design challenges.
Note that designing a mobile friendly website takes a great deal of care as well as practice to master it.