The growth in multi-device culture has turned responsive web design into a standard practice when it comes to designing any website. Designing a responsive website is rather a must-have requirement today.
What is the responsive design?
A mobile responsive website in simple terms is a website that automatically detects the device that the user is browsing from and regulates the layout to adapt to the device specifications and result in a greater user experience.
The responsive web design (RWD) provides a consistent user experience regardless of the device used. It reduces confusion, results in smooth navigation, and most importantly enjoyable user experience.
Why is designing a responsive website became a critical requirement?
Mobile responsive websites are a significant part of the user experience.
Mobile devices and their users now create a huge segment of traffic coming to your website. Providing these visitors with a pleasing and consistent user experience across devices is critical to your business’s long life.
In responsive sites, the layout is updated ensuring that the users can easily view the content and navigate through the site on the mobile screen on different devices with changing screen sizes.
Another important consideration that makes the integration of responsive design practices critical is the effect of mobile-friendliness on the SEO rankings. Since the introduction of Google’s mobile-first indexing, how the website functions on mobile devices also govern how it ranks on Google’s search rankings.
Tips for designing a responsive website
- Move from pixels and inches, towards grids
Rather than grounding your website design over fixed-sized pixels, using fluid grids results in liquid layouts that enlarge with the web pages. The elements on your website are sized proportionately by the grid rather than restraining them to one particular size in the case of pixels.
Grid view splits the web page into columns that make it easier to place the elements on the page. Flexible grids do half the work in responsive design, but if the width of the browser window becomes too small in the case of smaller screens, having a design that runs across two or three columns won’t do the thing. The use of media queries becomes a necessity in such cases.
- Make use of media queries and breakpoints when necessary
Media queries allow you to optimize the website layout for changing screen widths. The content responds to the different environments on the different devices while the media query checks for the width, resolution as well as orientation of the device being used, and the appropriate set of CSS rules are then applied.
- Always use a viewport in development
The viewport is the area of the web page visible to the users. It depends on the device the website is being viewed on. Incorporating the viewport with a meta tag the browser gets the directions regarding the page’s scaling and dimensions.
Incorporating mobile-first design is also a good approach to adopt when you design a responsive website. It involves using styles beset at smaller viewports as the website default. You can then use media queries to add styles as the viewport grows therefore saving precious bandwidth.
- Make your website touch-responsive
The size of icons in the web design has to be large enough to result in easy touch targets when accessed via hand-held devices. When designing responsive websites, you should keep both mouse clicks as well as finger taps in mind.
When designing for mobile, it is tempting to make better use of the screen space available to you by putting in more elements and shrinking the size of the buttons, you must design for human fingers and keep the design touch responsive. According to the material design guidelines given by Google, the buttons should at least be 36 dp high to ensure accessibility.
- Optimize the media for mobile use
Managing media whether images or videos on the mobile version of your website is one of the most challenging parts. When using images and videos, it is recommended to use the max-width property.
When adjusting image and video size for mobile, set the max-width to 100% and height to auto.
When setting background images, set the size as “contain” and it will scale and fit the content area automatically. The image size should be low and the images need to be compressed to ensure quicker loading websites which are critical from SEO as well.
- Never miss out on responsive typography
Typography is the foundation of web design. To make the content give the impression effective when it is displayed across mobile devices, the font sizes must be optimized for mobile as well.
CSS3 specifications consist of a new unit called rems which are relative to the HTML elements which result in the entire web page adjusting dynamically depending upon the viewport width of the browser.
- Always rely on the experts
Responsive web design is not easy. Along with the technical knowledge, one needs to have an in-depth design understanding. The design followed by coding needs to then undergo hard testing across a range of different devices to ensure that every element is in its place and is functioning properly.
Hiring an experienced responsive web design and development company like us that specializes in creating exceptional digital experiences is going to be your best shot at designing a mobile-friendly website.