Not too long ago, responsive websites were considered “nice-to-have” (but not necessary) additions for companies building or redesigning their online spaces. This is no longer the case.
Mobile-friendliness has become more and more essential in the last five to 10 years, as users have switched from desktops to their phones and tablets. In fact, nearly half of all online shoppers are browsing from their mobile devices. To accommodate this, sites have had to make some serious adjustments to become more mobile-friendly and provide a seamless experience across a variety of devices.
So, what does this mean for your business? Well, in short, if you want to attract as many customers as possible – no matter where they’re browsing from – you need to have a responsive web design (RWD) that works for all devices.
Here we’ll discuss how to create a responsive web design that makes your site’s user experience (UX) a great one from any device.
What Is a Responsive Website?
A responsive website is designed to ensure all pages render the same user experience on various devices and window screen sizes. They ensure usability and user satisfaction on different displays, from phones and tablets to huge external monitors. Web developers employ responsive web design to create dynamic changes to the appearance of the websites they build so audiences can easily visit and navigate their pages on any screen size and orientation of such device.
Why Is a Responsive Website Design Important?
Responsive design enables your website’s content to be displayed freely across all screen resolutions and sizes, ensuring it renders optimally and looks beautiful on any device. It also makes it unnecessary to create and maintain various versions of your site that would otherwise need to separately accommodate mobile and desktop users, saving you time (and money) in the long run.
A well-designed responsive website will encourage search engines to rank you higher on the search engine results pages (SERPs). This will help your brand reach more customers and keep visitors engaged when they come across your site. The latter is important because it will assist in lowering your bounce rate, a factor that can ultimately harm your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts if it gets too high.
The Eight Components
Now that you understand what exactly responsive web design is and why it’s so important for online businesses, let’s highlight what it takes to make this possible. Here are eight components of responsive web design brands can’t live without.
Your content needs to be able to breathe. In other words, you need to add some space between the elements and sections of your pages so the text, images, and videos can stand on their own. Try out different padding and margin settings. Adjust your font sizes and line spacing so you can have a relative amount of whitespace on your pages.
You don’t want a cluttered screen when you’re designing a site for mobile. You need whitespace to split up the content so you can provide your audience with a comfortable experience that works for smaller screens.
It’s often best to define your own parameters for columns and spacing when you’re designing a website. This ensures it’s just as flexible as any out-of-the-box system available on the market and ensures it meets your target audience’s unique needs.
Many existing grid systems solely use cascading style sheet (CSS) classes to define size, space, and alignment. It can be tricky and extremely time-consuming if you try to superimpose these limits into an RWD. However, if you create a custom solution, you’ll have more flexibility in your grid system, as the mechanics of your layout sizes and spacing are up to you.
Pixels need to be abandoned in favor of fluid grids that can be properly fitted, regardless of screen size.
Media queries enable you to gather information about your site’s visitors. This information can then be applied to CSS styles based on the characteristics of the device those visitors are using to access your website.
If your browsing experience is inconsistent across different devices, you’re almost assuredly going to frustrate or even deter users. This can result in a higher bounce rate and low conversions.
You need to make sure information can be easily accessed across all forms of your site’s design. Above all else, your navigation menu, contact information, and key content should be easily accessible to users.
Speaking of navigation, this can be among the most difficult parts of a responsive website design because it hugely impacts the quality of your user’s experiences. Your navigation needs to be clear for users.
To do this, start by identifying which menus are vital to straightforward site navigation. Once you’ve figured this out, make sure your users won’t experience any alignment issues or reverse column ordering.
It’s important to have images that move and scale across a flexible grid. Flexible images are known for giving web designers headaches because they’re often oversized and need to be scaled down using width and height HTML attributes.
Reputable web developers understand that their designs need to be accessible on any platform that has a considerable user base. Your website will be scrutinized across many platforms, which is why it’s important to do the legwork during the design process to ensure everything looks as pristine as possible, no matter where visitors find you.
Every great website has gone through regular testing to ensure it meets brand and user standards, and your site should be no exception. Test regularly to ensure you’re making improvements where necessary. Spend a little time browsing your own site on multiple devices, interacting with your design to see what works and what could be better. Also, be sure to perform A/B testing to make your site the very best it can be.
Choose a Marketing Agency with Expertise in Web Design
If you’re ready to make a responsive web design happen for your organization, you’ve come to the right place! Zero Gravity Marketing’s design and development teams work hand in hand to make sure businesses just like yours have all the tools they need to attract and retain top-quality customers. Contact us to learn how we can support your brand to provide users with a seamless UX on every device. We look forward to hearing from you!