Responsive web design is something no business should ever disregard. Given the rapidly rising number of smartphone users, mobile devices are becoming the go-to means for accessing business sites. A mobile-first approach is not enough though. Many different devices, screens and operating systems will be used to access your site, and all must work seamlessly.
A responsive web design is the only solution. Additionally, Google favors websites that are responsive and mobile-friendly too, designing its search algorithm to zone in on sites that are responsive and offer intuitive interfaces. If you’re seeking to optimize your site and leave competitors behind, you need to innovate to get ahead. Use these tips to optimize your responsive web design:
#1 Use Analytics
Websites are used differently on mobile and other devices as compared to desktop computers. You need to survey website visitors or use analytics to assess how visitors are accessing sites with mobile as well as non-PC devices. Which elements and pages do they access most? This data can help in understanding which of your website pages and elements need to be adapted to suit smaller screens, different devices, various operating systems and so on. If the contact information, for example, is most accessed, the contact page should show up on mobile navigation as well as other smart devices.
#2 Always plan ahead
Before the site is designed, it is essential to plan the layout first. Most web designers create a wireframe and then put together the visual design and the coding elements. This helps to create the exact look and feel as one wants it to appear. It also makes it easier for designers to integrate and customize templates for the brand. While optimizing responsive web design to suit various screen sizes, you need to create website prototypes and test these out to ensure the end design is responsive.
#3 Always test navigability
Any website must be navigable. This is because it serves as a roadmap for visitors and permits them to access other pages on the site. On desktop versions of the site, navigation must be facilitated through visible links to all important pages. On mobile devices, hamburger icons and links behind it are a regular practice, but important menu items should be visible even on the smaller screen so that the user is not frustrated, or key elements are not overlooked.
#4 Optimizing Images
For responsive and intuitive web design, images are an important aspect to consider. They can help in emotionally connecting you with visitors and permitting them to visualize products they seek to buy. Images need to be web friendly. They need to be saved in an appropriate format and image sizes should be optimized for mobile breakpoints to reduce bandwidth issues and scaling.
#5 Design mobile versions first
Yet another angle to responsive design is a mobile-first approach. Designing mobile versions of your site first can be really beneficial. This permits users to see how text, logos, images and other elements look on smaller screens. If these work without any issues, adapting to larger screens is far easier.
#6 Triggers for keyboards in forms should be added
Forms on the site need to adapt to the size and width of the screen. However, the input fields should trigger the correct type of keyboard. This can be easily accomplished by adding input elements to form fields. Fields requiring the input of text such as address, email, name and others need to trigger a textual keyboard, while input fields requiring digits should trigger numerical keyboards. This enhances the responsiveness of the site and initiates a user-friendly interface.
#7 Buttons should be clickable
Buttons should easily be clicked on smaller screens and extra attention needs to be paid to buttons on the site. Remember that real-estate on your screen is precious, so making buttons smaller to fit the screen may prove to be efficient. It is essential to ensure, however, that the buttons are easy to click across different devices, OS and screen sizes. For this it is important to use colour to make them stand out and use distinctive shapes too. You also need to consider using button padding to ensure clickability. Follow the material design for optimal accessibility of the buttons on your site.
#8 Utilise optimum fonts
When it concerns text, ensure that the fonts are legible on the smaller screens. At the same time, the lines of the paragraphs should be adjusted to improve readability and offer breathing room. Another crucial factor should be to use a legible font. Avoid script or decorative fonts for body copy or menu items as these may be hard to read, more so on smaller screens.
#9 Micro-interactions are important
One of the key trends making its way to web design is the use of micro-interactions. Animations and interactive functionalities are critical for a majority of websites nowadays. As designers have become more focused on user experience, the use of animations has become important, especially in forms. Users get quick feedback and this is extremely useful for mobile devices. Rather than reloading the page, which bumps up bandwidth usage, you need to consider micro-interactions as these provide quick feedback for users.
#10 Opt for a Minimalist Design
Minimalistic designs have exploded in popularity in recent years with good reason. It eliminates clutter and makes it easier for visitors to focus on content and improve conversion rates. It also helps websites to load faster as fewer elements are used. It matches responsive designs because CTA or calls-to-action can stand out and important web areas are further highlighted. Always check your site for responsiveness. For example, Google offers a mobile-friendly test. On-screen toggles, elongated menu displays…there are so many design elements that can make your website extremely responsive.
Optimizing website responsiveness is a process that has many aspects to it. Essentially, the website should be able to stand out from competitors. For positive search engine rankings, responsive websites are a must. Keeping this in mind, optimization of responsive design is the key to not just an attractive and functional website, but an ever-expanding clientele and growing sales volume as well.