In the beginning, there was the internet. We viewed text-only websites on our bulky CRT monitors at our desks, over a slow dial-up connection. Dinosaurs and saber-toothed cats roamed the tundra outside. Mobile phones had gone from the size of a house brick to being the size of a box of matches. But, over time, mobile phones started to do something else: access the internet.
WAP allowed us to be free from the shackles of our desktop computers (those of us who didn’t have laptops) and to view some poorly-designed websites on the move. And so began the growth of the mobile web.
As mobile phones grew in size and power, the internet became more mobile. Websites could be viewed from anywhere, and frequently were. Good website designers and forward-thinking companies appreciated the importance of a mobile-friendly website – so, often, two sites were made. A desktop site and a mobile site. The website would detect if you were a mobile visitor, and redirect you to the alternate site.
This was all very well, but as a solution, it hasn’t been ideal. Laptops were getting smaller, mobile phones were getting bigger and more powerful, tablets have become more popular, and smartwatches are now gaining on Swiss watches for popularity. It’s not enough to just have an alternate “mobile” site anymore.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive design is the hottest thing to happen to websites since having a website. No exaggeration, a fully responsive site is just about the most important thing you can do for your business online, after having a web address that’s easy to remember.
Responsive design is an approach to web design that makes your website look its best on a variety of devices, such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop screens.
Is Your Website Responsive?
In short, responsive design is web design done right. Responsive design is how the internet should be viewed. No longer should there be two sites, or desktop and mobile, designed: one site is all you need, if it is truly responsive.
Responsive means that your website responds to the visitor. We’re not talking about a redirect to an alternate site, or a small number of alternate screen sizes, but instead really taking the time to have a website that will respond and adapt to any screen size, to change orientation when a device is rotated.
But Why Should You Care?
A responsive website allows you to stay ahead of the game. It will increase sales as it will reach a larger, more target audience and gives users a smooth and seamless experience that they are looking for.
If you want users to come back to your website and drive real results that help grow your business, here are some must-know responsive design best practices.
Design for your targeted demographic
Screen sizes remain to be an important factor to consider when designing a website. But remember that there is no standard screen size for web design.
A major key to determining what screen sizes should you design for, find out what screen resolutions your users might be visiting your website on. Look at the demographics of your target audience. Demographics will determine what devices your potential customers use to access your website. If they’re not a device you design for, then it’s time to include them in the mix.
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Consider content layout between breakpoints
In 2019, people used over 9,000 different devices to access the internet. With numerous screen sizes across the world, you can’t tell how your website looks like on every screen. In fact, a lot of your web audience will experience the design that is between your targeted sizes.
So, web designers must consider the layout adjustments that happen between breakpoints to avoid misalignment of content, making it easier to view. It’s a smart move to create sketches or wireframes to illustrate how your website looks like in its in-between states.
The quality of images in a website affects how people perceive a design. A website with sharp, professional, and appropriately sized images is more likely to leave a good impression on visitors.
However, images are not naturally fluid. They have set dimensions, which can lead to inconsistencies with the display. But despite this, you can modify them to adapt to different screen sizes.
You can resize an image with the CSS width and max-width attribute to help the image adapt to different screen resolutions. Or use scalable vector graphics (SVGs) to ensure that images remain sharp across all devices.
Embrace Responsive Design for Your Website
Responsive web design is important in online marketing. Apart from other advantages, it allows your website to provide a seamless and excellent user experience across platforms, enabling users to become better leads and ultimately, loyal customers.
Ensure your web design is the best it can be by investing in reliable online solutions.