No business can afford NOT to have a responsive website nowadays when the majority of Internet users are on their mobile devices. Your online enterprise would be losing a huge opportunity, especially when you look at the number of people who are on their smartphones researching a product they’re about to buy or catching up with the latest news in your business niche.
Add to this the fact that Google heavily favours mobile-friendly sites in its search algorithm and you’ll realise that responsive design is the only way to go for your website. How do you implement this complex design principle, though?
To help you design an attractive mobile-responsive website or redesign an existing one to this new paradigm, here are a few tips we’ve outlined.
Go With a Mobile-First Approach
If you’re yet to build a website, it’s best to design a mobile version of the site first. You’ll see how images, logos, text, and other visual elements look on smaller screens this way. But why should you go mobile-first in the web development process?
The premise behind this approach is this: if the site displays just fine on a small screen, you should have little problem making your design adapt to larger ones.
Tips on Implementing a Responsive Website Design
People will tell you “think flexibly” when you’re coming up with responsive website design. But breaking that generic piece of advice down to specifics may be more useful, especially when you have little idea where to begin.
As you’re working on responsive website design, keep these specific hints in mind.
- Focus on Vital Content
Ask yourself what specific item will be the first thing that people should see the moment they enter your portal. To help you with this, remember the primary goal of your website. Do you want people to subscribe to a service? Would you want users to sign up for a newsletter? Is your goal to sell a product line?
For a strategic responsive design, stick with your website’s primary priority and put the most important fields and information front and centre.
- Stay within the Current Trends
Brainstorming for responsive design can be overwhelming in itself; all the more when you start speculating on upcoming technologies and media queries your site will potentially encounter. To stay focused during the planning stage, discuss within existing frameworks and fluidities.
Don’t forget to provide the same features on the desktop version while highlighting similar, vital content in the mobile site, too.
- Wireframe Early On
When planning a responsive site, come up with concrete sketches and plans to put everyone on the same page. The way to go here is to create a wireframe first.
As you do so, decide whether your responsive site will feature a long scroll or a traditional organisation. The former can lift burdens in navigation but can end up with hellish load times. The latter, on the other hand, can be an easier layout to work with but often runs the risk of cumbersome navigation.
- Consider Current Input Modalities
With different devices to consider for your website’s design, think of the various modes of input that will be used to navigate it—keyboards, styluses, mice, and touch interfaces. Take into account current input modalities while keeping potential and up-and-coming ones in mind.
In the end, a responsive site design will have to readily interact with basic taps and other hand gestures.
- Intensive Testing has to be Consistent
To be sure that your website will display correctly no matter the device, round up as many devices as you can. Once you have a slew of gadgets on hand, you can now perform routine checks on a checklist of devices and browsers.
Even with you performing constant usability tests, there’s no guarantee that you won’t bump into messy cross-device issues. This is why intensive testing has to be a constant variable every step of the way.
- Test User Patience
By testing user patience, you can find any critical content buried at the bottom of a long scroll, discover clumsy navigation tools, and even see overlapping text with ever-shrinking screens before actual users do. Digging for hidden errors (and improving site speed in the process) is one way to minimise the possibility of keeping users from achieving their goals on your website.
- Know the Site’s Personality
Identify the human elements in your website (e.g. engaging text, touching photos, distinct fonts) and try to keep them present even as the screen size changes. This ensures your site retains its impact and identity regardless of the device that’s viewing it at any given moment.
By putting a spotlight on the emotional components of your website, you give it a personality that is unique from competitors.
- Carefully Choose Fonts
The text on your mobile website should be easy to read on various viewports. Whether you implement a typography-first/typography-out approach or try responsive typography, test various fonts, and find one that gets you a good average of between 45-90 characters per line on all screen resolutions.
Always remember: choosing a perfectly expressive font can work wonders for your website’s overall impact.
Future-Proofing a Responsive Design
Although you can’t plan for every mobile innovation that heads your way, you can prepare to meet them head-on when you put flexibility at the forefront of your website’s design. Of course, having a clear vision of your website’s priorities will help zero in on the improvements that you focus on at the next tech revolution.
If what we’ve laid out here all seems like a blur, just get in touch and Digital Rescue will help ease up your online platform’s transition to a mobile-friendly design. Take this leap and you’ll get a step ahead of the competition for sure!