Responsive web design is one of the leading trends that designers and developers are working with today. As the use of mobile devices continues to grow, responsive web design is becoming favored over creating separate designs for mobile and desktop, making the whole process easier. What are the hallmarks of responsive web design that you can use to create an exceptional website?
Keep it Simple
Simplistic web design is another huge trend, and it is the hallmark of responsive design. The simpler your layout, the easier your site will adapt from being on a desktop screen to a mobile device. You should look to use HTML5 when creating your design, and keep things to the bare necessities where you’re able to. Widgets and plugins are fine as long as they don’t slow down your page and are useable on mobile.
Using flexible grids like those available from Gridset or Columnal will ensure your pages are able to adapt seamlessly to any page size. Why create a responsive design only to have to make changes when a new tablet is launched with a unique screen size, for example?
Using fixed width can cause problems with adaptation and cause people to bounced from your site very quickly.
Working with Pictures
You can still use pictures within a responsive design, but you might want to consider the bandwidth you’ll potentially save by not using them, as well as the loading time on a mobile device that is trying to load your site with only a data connection rather that Wi-Fi.
It is also worth considering blocking pictures on your site when it is loaded on mobile devices, as the resizing can often make them look awful. This is especially true if you have a worded banner in place instead of a picture.
As we all try to create the most engaging designs possible, many of us have moved towards more eclectic designs. However, if you want responsive design to work successfully, linear blocks are the only way to go. This means two or three columns on larger screens, and one on smaller screens.
You might even want to experiment with just having one column for your desktop site, so when it is viewed on mobile it is simply slimmed down rather than reorganized. This will work brilliantly if you have your main navigation moving down the page as browsers scroll.
Trim the Fat
In addition to keeping design simple, it is up to you to ensure that you don’t have excessive content on your website. In your ideal scenario, you’d have your navigation, your content, and your call to action on each page, and that is it. Do away with advertising and other unnecessary pages if you don’t need them.
Keep these principles in mind when creating your responsive web design, and you’ll stand a better chance of coming up with something engaging that your audience will love, and that ultimately will drive conversions.