With mobile and tablet browsing become more popular, web design has had to adapt to what users want when using their device. This is to interact with a website/brand that they are familiar with whilst out and about, without compromising user experience.
So has Responsive Web Design become the solution? A one size fits all solution for interacting with people on their mobile devices? No is the answer, not unless it is well planned but before we look into why we need to understand some things:
What is Responsive Web Design?
It’s a way of laying out and coding a website so that the websites provides an optimal viewing experience based on the size of the screen or window accessing the content. Ease of Reading and navigating should be improved with little need for panning and zooming.
When creating responsive designs we have to be mindful of screen layouts and how the UI elements such as text, images etc. will display across a variety of devices.
Why is Responsive Web Design important?
The sheer amount of devices and the amount of time being spent browsing on them means the amount of screen sizes accessing any website is so vast it is no longer possible to do a ‘Mobile Site’ and a Desktop Site, there are many pixels in between which need to be taken into consideration and Responsive technology is the way to do this.
The experience for the user should be seem less, being able to access the information required quickly and easily no matter what device is being used. This is where we move onto the problem;
So you build a Website and it just arranges for its content for all devices?
Yes it does, but this is where a lot of web design agencies get it wrong, it shouldn’t be like this. There needs to be thought put into break points, as many as possible but a minimum of tablet and mobile. There then needs to be thought go into the removal of certain aspects of the site for smaller screen sizes, for example do you need to show 10 portfolio pieces on the homepage, lets show 1 on mobile 4 on tablet. By having this in mind from the outset when building a responsive website you can really take advantage of the technology and still deliver the experience to the user (the ultimate goal!).
More thought needs to be put into the devices and in particular the connection speeds and processing power of these devices. Is it intelligent to have a banner with lots of large images and moving slides display on a mobile phone with a smaller processor over a 3G Connection? No, so why do we still see this occurring? As lots of web design agencies just build on the framework, they don’t actually utilise it!
If you would like to discuss a responsive website project please feel free to contact us