Going Responsive Is Not All about “One-Size-Fits-All”
In today’s era, there’s a lot of lingo thrown around and more often than not, clients get easily overwhelmed. Gone all the days when websites used to live only on the desktop. People have gone way beyond with their tablets & smartphones. Do you know that you could recover upwards of 200% simply by ensuring your site’s mobile experience well? Several researches reveal that Google itself is putting mobile front and center that caters what’s happening in real time. As a result, almost every new client wants a mobile version of their website.
The big challenge, however, is when you start thinking about how to build the best mobile website. The full-size iPad or iPad mini, which device to design for? This could be a never ending problem until and unless the concept of responsive web design didn’t hit the industry. Most of us have started expecting an optimal browsing experience. And responsive design dynamically adapts websites to different screen sizes, i.e. desktop, tablet, smartphones, etc. This means that companies can reach their customers across any device without the need of a separate mobile site.
To be more precise, Responsive web design allows a site’s layout to change in accordance with the screen size being used to view the site changes. For instance, customers with wide screen desktop can easily view a site with multiple columns of content, while a mobile user will access to the same content (only it would display in a single column with optimized text and links). At face value, this might seem like a lot of work, money, and resource for a minimal return. But when we dig deeper, development costs and time to build such mobile friendly sites slightly outweigh those for responsive design.
Here’s another example of a travel booking website. A recent web trends survey reveals that 41% of travelers do their research using mobile but prefer to book with their desktop and laptop just because of the small screen on mobile devices. In an average travel purchase, a simpler site doesn’t offer horizontal navigation or requires more scrolling alienating its loyal desktop users.
Now before selecting a responsive web design company, it’s essential to dedicate substantial time in understanding the intent behind your customer’s behavior rather than the behavior itself. What I mean is, if 20% of your monthly visitors can access your site with a mobile device then it means you need to dedicate more resources to the larger desktop user base as well as it could also mean that your mobile user experience is dreadful.
3 Killer Reasons to Make your Website Responsive
Think about context
If the developer is building a site exclusive for the desktop computer then you can assume that end user has an ample of time to read and go through each and every aspect of your website. But if the site is being built for both desktop and mobile users, the site might be a whole different animal. As you see mobile users are often in a hurry, reading the site content on the bus or between meetings or while walking on the street. Basically, they do not have much time to devote to reading things carefully, so your responsive site’s content needs to reflect that.
Use your own lessons learned from building a responsive design site
There are numerous companies which prefer switching over to a responsive web design format to better accommodate their readers and to simplify modifications. So we could have ended up building different apps for operating systems like Apple iOS and Android. Or, we could have built one app and then ported that to other operating systems. Now a news and current affairs site like ours will always need modifications and updates, so it just made sense to go this route.
Additional tip: developers may also be able to simplify the process if they use a program like Twitter Bootstrap as a framework for building a responsive site.
Embrace negative space
You walk a fine line when creating a responsive design. And it’s but obvious for you to take a minimalistic approach to content and navigation but that doesn’t mean you want to leave anything vital out. So what can be done is, make use of negative space to create breaks in your design and highlight those areas of content that you don’t want anyone to miss.
In a nutshell,
Until responsive design makes major advances, it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. After all, the priority of any website is to give the user what they expect. A single design that contorts itself to fit the device of choice often disrupts the user experience and, therefore, the user.
So that’s all for now! Keep watching the space for more information and updates on responsive web design.