Responsive web design is aimed at providing users with the best user experience across a number of platforms. Regardless of whether you are browsing the internet through your PC, your tablet, your laptop or your smartphone, responsive website design will ensure that the experience is similar for all users.
The idea of responsive web design originates from the varying number of devices used by users online to access content on the internet. For instance, take your own internet usage pattern into consideration. During a typical day, you access the internet through your phone, your laptop and your office desktop system. All these devices have different screen sizes, and websites need to come up with a solution that fits them all, in the shape of a responsive website design.
What Is Responsive Design?
For websites in the contemporary era, a pleasant user experience is dependent on responsive web design. Almost fifteen years ago now, users would surf the internet through the standard size of a desktop PC, but with the addition of so many different screens and devices to access the internet, humans are spoilt for choice.
The goal of a responsive website design is to make the user experience on a particular website excellent across different devices. Even though the design may have slight alterations and might look a bit different, responsive design will ensure that it excels and stands out regardless of that.
For instance, information presented on a website to desktop users will come in two columns, but this approach will be shredded for mobile users with limited screen space, and the website will only show one column at one time. The branding and content will remain exactly the same; however the technique of displaying it to the end user will change.
How to Implement a Responsive Web Design
Now that we understand what a responsive web design actually is, we can move toward understanding how this design can be implemented by organizations in the contemporary era. We now mention a few tips you can follow to make your website more responsive and to give users from all platforms a similar experience.
Have a Fluid Grid
Not too long ago, websites were laid out on the basis of pixels. But designers have shifted their focus from pixels to fluid grids now. A grid proportionally sizes the design elements on your website rather than making them all appear similar. This makes it easier for organizations to size elements for different screens without altering much about their design space. The elements respond to the size of the screen, rather than the size they are set to be in pixels.
The height, width and columns of a responsive grid are scaled. There are no fixed proportions; hence the website can adjust to the screen being used to access the website.
Allow for Touchscreens
With the advancements in technology today, even laptops are manufactured with touchscreens on them, instead of the conventional displays. This now makes it essential for websites to be designed for all kinds of users including those accessing the screen with their hands.
For instance, if your website has a drop-down menu, you should consider styling it in a way that is easier for people to click with their fingertips. Also, make sure that all tiny elements like buttons and CTAs are categorized for touch users, and not just mouse users.
Use Space Carefully
Responsive design is not an excuse for replicating the very same design from one device to another. If you want the best user experience for your customers, you will have to leave a few design elements out for mobile users. Customers using smaller screens will be able to view a limited number of design elements.
If you stack the same elements that you had on your desktop site on your mobile version, the space would look cramped and full. Choose the design elements to add and leave open spaces.
Keep Images in Consideration
Image sourcing is one of the most complex parts of building a responsive web design. To make sure that your images are ideal for a responsive web page, you should set rules in your CSS that determine how images are handled. These minor amendments will help you set images for all screens.
Try a Pre-Designed Layout or Theme
If you’re not a professional designer by nature, you can always try a pre-designed theme or layout to help you make your site more responsive. The good news is that many organizations try these themes or their websites, and the results are reliable more often than not.
With a pre-designed theme, all you have to worry about is adding the colors to your website and branding the content and style to match those of your organization. If you’re designing your website on WordPress, you will come across a number of free and paid themes that can assist you in creating a responsive web design.
If you aren’t on WordPress or any other hosted eCommerce website, you will find it hard to locate and use a pre-designed theme. In such cases, it is best to hire someone with professional experience and outsource the task to them. They will bring tons of experience with them and ensure that the website design you get is custom made to your preferences. Professional help also gives you an opportunity to add a number of quirks and unique attributes that would otherwise be difficult for you to manage.
Jump on the Responsive Bandwagon
By making your website design more responsive, you wouldn’t have to worry about new technologies rendering your current website obsolete. Regardless of the new technology that comes out, your website will always be prepared for all platforms and devices.