What is responsive web design and how to make it work for your website?
It is hard to believe, but web design plays a big role in our lives nowadays. Just imagine you own a furniture showroom and a client comes to your store. First, you greet them, offer some refreshments, in other words, you’ll make everything to win the client over. And if you’ve got everything right, the client is going to enjoy your services and recommend your store to everyone. Doing business on the Internet is exactly the same as running your brick-and-mortar store. It is vital to create a positive user experience for business websites. If a user feels comfortable on your website, they would probably choose your company.
Forget about the times when desktop was the only option for surfing internet. More than 55% of Internet users choose smartphones, tablets, and laptops as the main devices to search the Internet. Having a responsive website design that will convert your site to the whole specter of modern devices must be considered by any business nowadays to improve user experience. A positive user experience will lead to great conversion opportunities, while poor visual experience discourages potential clients, which is obviously not good for your business. I bet everyone visited a site where you scroll, pan and zoom the whole website to read at something, but you get so confused and close the website entirely. Websites without responsive web design carry a lot of unnecessary information to smartphone users who, as a rule, searches local business’ information on the go. Users typically just need to know operating hours and address of the business they’re searching.
The main goal of responsive web design is to make website information flow like water and fill the screen space of any mobile device. What I mean is that responsive website design has to proportionally resize the page and adapt to available viewing space without losing any user experience.
Before we start, I want to avoid any misunderstanding. Our web development company offers amazing responsive web design services and sometimes we have clients asking about converting their websites to a mobile version. After more detailed discussion, it turns out that a client meant responsive web design, not mobile-friendly design. Yes, there is a great difference between the responsive website and mobile version of your existing website! The mobile-friendly design is a copy of your site, optimized for mobile devices, allowing you to surf, but oftentimes limiting user experience to simple gestures and unorganized content. Responsive website design service offers you multiple designs of one page adapting to different screens of mobile devices. This saves a lot of your time as well as your money.
Key features of responsive web design
Now that we have figured out what responsive web design is, let’s look at some awesome features and advantages of the responsive website design. I hope you’ll appreciate all these perks, just like we do at Direct Line Development, and understand that having a non-responsive website, nowadays, is the same as having no website at all.
Screen resolution adjustment
Today, almost all devices can automatically change the screen position from horizontal to vertical and your site must adapt to these changes and stay readable. You should keep in mind that many users do not use full-screen mode on their mobile devices, and it means that there is a huge number of screen resolutions and your site has to look decent on all of them.
A good solution to this problem is a flexible layout. It adapts to user’s viewing preferences while preventing incorrect website display and endless zooming manipulations. Fluid or flexible content allows users to customize the resolution of the browser screen as they like so that it’s easy to read all the necessary info. If the content has been resized incorrectly, the quality of the images will suffer, and some of the text will be difficult to read without the constant left and right scrolling.
As you have understood, flexible or fluid images are an important part of website design as well as a big headache even for professional web design developers. Most mistakes are made due to the fact that max-width: 100% rule is not respected. That rule means that the width of the image is set to 100%(not pixels) of the screen resolution to make image adjust and reduce accordingly to screen size of the device.
Responsive images help increase website loading time. When the site is downloaded from different devices, the optimal resolution is selected. This means that you won’t upload a 3MB image on your phone, but get a smaller file size.
Show and hide the information
Sometimes too much information on a small screen looks very confusing and chaotic. Fluid and responsive images can’t help you at all. The best solution here is to choose which content will be shown and hidden manually and the CSS module provided this opportunity for designers. Also, you should provide the navigation for the hidden information, then your site will look clean and simple on small screens.
Due to a great number of devices connected to the Internet, media queries are very important tools for creating websites and applications that will work correctly on all available devices. CSS3 brought a number of useful features for use in media queries and website design.
Touchscreens vs. Cursors
More than a half of Internet users choose smartphones and tablets as the main device for the Internet surfing, that’s why cursors are losing their ground to touchscreens. Of course, there are touchscreen desktops and laptops, but the prices on these goods are unreasonably high today. By using the touchscreen you miss some of the features that come with the cursor, like an opportunity to hover (positioning a computer cursor over some image or icon without selecting it), so the design process must take this into account.
Image resizing on IOS devices
There is a very useful feature on IOS mobile devices. They change picture resolution automatically with no need of mobile-friendly websites and responsive web design services. But in some cases, the images will still adapt to the screen resolution, even if they were designed for small screens. These adjustments make the site unreadable. You can fix it with some meta tags that will keep the original size of the image.
Creating a user-friendly experience
Responsive web design has many important benefits and improvements for the whole Internet community. However, there is still a large number of unsolved web design challenges. But there is no limit to perfection, right? Our responsive web design company prides itself in creating truly positive user experience both for businesses and its customers. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask anything and everything about responsive website design – we are always glad to help you!