Today, I can say once upon a time when a major part of the internet was accessible only via desktop with their standard size CRT monitors. Then Smartphone happened, and rest is history. Today we have devices ranging in size from 2 inches smart watches capable of browsing the internet to 10 inches tablet and Ultra HD monitors with such high resolutions.
This caused a major dilemma for the web designers. What do they do? Create mobile apps or instead work on creating a new website for the different screen size from scratch? This is where responsive web design came as their savior.
Responsive web design has become the popular method for developing website with a multi-size device friendly approach. It helps to design a websites that give optimal viewing experience across a variety of displays ranging in size. It slowly gained popularity among the mainstream web designers and is one of the most popular design methodologies currently.
We list out 9 golden rules for responsive web design.
1. Effective use of white space
The portion of your webpage that is left unmarked and unused is known as “white space”. One thing you need to make sure while designing your website is that you don’t cram in too many design element in the page leaving no “White space”.
Go for a more minimalist approach instead. Mark out what is important for your client and the user and then focus on it. Leave enough white spaces and do away with all the useless design elements.
Utilize every pixel of the screen you are designing for. Investing in pixels is worth money to advertisers. It includes white space too. If you want to keep it simple yet classy, stylish and elegant, don’t put too much unnecessary content, otherwise it looks like a cluttered.
2. Input Friendliness
There are a number of input devices including the keyboards, mice, stylus and the most popular of them all, your fingers. Not only this. What about the new and upcoming technologies like eye, hand, and voice gesture interfaces? While creating a navigation bar, try to make it as touch and tap friendly as possible.
Use intuitive new ways so that the elements of the page change themselves to suit the display device and the input modes. If the website is responsive enough to provide user friendliness it will increase the conversion ration.
3. The Content
One of the most common problems faced by designers is that most of the times they are asked to create a template for the content to which the text and photos are added at a later time. And there is nothing that breaks the heart of a designer more than seeing their beautiful design get ruined because the copywriter crosses the word limits a “little bit”.
So talk to your client and ask for the content beforehand if possible or at least a get an idea of the content which you are supposed to use. So that you can design accordingly and things don’t go mismatched.
4. Easy Navigation
Designing a website easy to navigate on all sorts of screen sizes and with a variety of input mediums is a difficult and important task. One should use combinations of jump links, drop-downs and off-canvas methods. Use a drop down menu to use the screen space efficiently and take away the unnecessary elements.
Make sure that the drop down menu doesn’t become too cumbersome with a number of elements and sub-elements inside it. Another popular method to avoid this is to use the off-canvas method, pioneered by the Facebook app. This feature takes the site’s navigation off the edge of the viewpoint and frees up the screen space and the user’s focus.
Your website will be visited on a number of devices and platforms. It might include a powerful desktop computer with a high-resolution monitor to a handheld device trying to load the page on the go. Two things have gone down in the past few years with the advancement in technology- the weight of your smartphone and the patience of the user trying to load your website.
You can also try to improve the performance by segmenting the content that is secondary so that the important media loads first. Keep the performance in mind and the people who visit your site once will be sure to come again.
6. Avoid Overloading:
No one likes to wait while browsing. The most common habit we have noticed of the users is if the website is taking longer time to load, they‘ll switch to other site instantly. So to design a responsive website try to avoid data excess elements on the website that takes time to load.
The extra elements like fonts, coding, over-sized images and videos used on the website. Due to these elements the loading speed of the website gets affected specially if there is a poor internet connection.
If there are a number of responsive images on your website, then you can try serving different quality images to different devices instead. A person trying to open your website on his 4-inch smartphone on a poor 3G connection will have no use of an HD photo.
No matter how good you’ve designed your insight content & design if the lading speed is slow. Because users don’t even make effort to watch the website that takes longer time to open. . So design the responsive website at base level using minimalist approach that your site is not overloaded with elements that affect the loading speed.
So you are done making your website. All the images are in place, all the content is added. It looks perfect, at least on your laptop screen. So what do you do now? Testing. Test your website on as many devices as you can get your hands on. Try it on all the popular browsers in the market.
Perform all the standard responsive specific testing tools in the market. Make sure that your website not only works, but works well. Testing will help you to make your website more responsive and error free.
8. Add Pictures & videos
To design a responsive website you need to add some real images and videos related to your business. Put images of the activities you’ve done so far, it will help you to gain trust & will help to thrill the users. You can also add incorporate videos of your own spreading the vision of the business or may be showcasing the use of product or service. Add some images and videos that are not copied from elsewhere and features your business unique from others.
Image and video adds moment to your site. Users don’t read too much content, so if you have added images it will directly catch the eye. It increases trust of your users because any one can design a website but trust comes when you show some real business.
Make sure, these images and videos are of high resolution with lowest loading time. Because focusing on loading time of the website makes your design responsive design. Putting extra thing on site should not decrease the loading speed so it should be of smaller size as well.
9. Page Orientation
The biggest question that you must answer is portrait or landscape. Decide whether you want more space or just a snapshot of data. Do you want the user to be able to switch between the two modes on his/her mobile device or just solely on one mode.
The design also depends on the device you are designing for. You can’t use the same design for desktop, mobile and Smartwatches.
Keep Above things while designing a responsive website that works on all the available devices and platforms. Adopt the current trends and leave a lifetime impression on customers mind by giving them best user experience on first visit. You can also visit popular social media to know do’s and don’ts on your website.
A simple, easy to use attractive website is all a user needs. The communication should be loud and clear. As they say, keep It Simple Silly! Keeping things clean, simple yet classy and useful makes your website responsive. Contact us today to develop unique responsive website.