RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN has not only exploded in popularity within the web design industry, but also in its overall effectiveness for a variety of businesses across all industries.
The true power of responsive design rests in granting your users the ability to travel with your company’s messaging, product line and service channels on their handheld devices regardless of whether that be smartphones, tablets or otherwise. This type of design places a “cyber magnifying glass” of sorts on your brand awareness, enhances customer engagement and typically leads to an avenue of increased overall sales. But, with the web design industry getting more and more responsive-savvy, it’s important to keep in mind the best practices of this type of design to ensure your website succeeds against competition that’s implementing a similar flavour of online strategy.
To really get the benefits of a website for your business, your site will need to serve as a professional online presence that conveys your credibility, showcases your solutions, and makes it easy for people to contact you. Additionally, it should be optimised so that people can actually find it when they search online. And, it should be easy for you to update on your own, without being tied to a web developer every time you need to make a change to your site.
Consider the Context of Your Audience.
Online user behaviour is not as predictable as it once was. At one point, web designers could guesstimate that the majority of their desktop users were static, while smartphone users were typically the “on the go” type of user. For example, in older times a restaurant would highlight their menu on the desktop version of their website, with directions to the actual eatery on their mobile site. Times have changed, and people are using whatever device is convenient for them. Determining the context of your audience allows you to better gauge the type of content you need to populate your responsive website with.
Segment Your Content For Your Business!
Ask yourself: “Why do people visit my website and what’s the most important information they need?” Keep in mind that the majority of devices users will use to engage with your website will be on a much smaller screen than that of a desktop-focused website. Abbreviate your content, but make sure your content is still fresh, relevant and specific to the exact needs of who matters the most – your clients. Remember: content is king.
Let Your Responsive Design Flow Like Water.
Your responsive interface should be fluid. This means that between the breakpoints on the page, the combination of content, colour, iconography and other elements you add to the page should all effortlessly flow and be easy for the user to read. While a template is much easier to code and comprehend, they are often too fragile for responsive web design. It’s vital to create a unique responsive website around the informational needs of your user.
Do Not Compromise.
Never think of responsive web design as a way to serve a “dumbed down” version of your desktop website. Steer away from things like browser sniffing, hiding content and disabling the zoom ability.
Focus On What Matters: Performance.
Even though responsive sites are an inexpensive web design alternative, that doesn’t mean you can forego the planning period of the website. For these websites to be as effective as possible, you have to plan from beginning to end of the development process. A prime example of this is the megabyte usage of your website. Think of it like this: some devices operating over a mobile network won’t be able to load pages correctly that serve 1MB+ pages. This is just one example, of course, but you can see how the slightest details need to be closely evaluated before implementing type of design.