A website is more than just an online replica of your brand. It is a platform where potential buyers connect with your business and eventually convert. Further, they compare websites of different brands to create perceptions about them. You cannot undermine the importance of having a great-looking website that delivers an excellent user experience. It is a worthy investment for any organization because it determines online visibility, audience reach, and conversions.
When building a website that aces on all fronts, you need to think beyond its look and feel. Rather, you must focus on the overall experience it delivers. Responsiveness is a design element you cannot miss out on as it enables users to access it seamlessly across all devices. Further, it also determines the ranking of the site because search engines prioritize responsiveness as a ranking factor. Let us explain the rules designers follow to build responsive sites that render flawlessly across all devices.
Think small and big
It is easy to think that responsive designs are meant to fit in small screens of mobile devices. But designers have to visualize the other way around as well. Everything boils down to ensuring that users have the best experiences with the website, no matter what device they use. The hardware market is flooded with the widest range of devices these days, and you can expect users to pick any of them. Moreover, they may even switch between different devices often and expect to get the same look and feel everywhere. As a rule, designers ensure that nothing breaks the UX across any device, small or big.
Match content and user requirements
Without any doubt, content is the most crucial element of a website. It must always load without any issues, irrespective of the device. You cannot expect users to switch to another device or browser only because the content doesn’t seem to render on the existing ones. A seasoned professional ensures that the content displays properly for every user. It requires extensive usability testing after the designing phase. A responsive site functions correctly in every situation and ensures that user requirements are met. Unless you fulfill them, you can expect them to bounce away.
When you think of creating a responsive website, you will probably want to fit it onto different screens. But it isn’t the right mindset if you ask experts. Making a site responsive requires more than creating a single-column layout that spans multiple columns on larger screens, or vice versa. You need to consider the context in terms of how the user expects to see and use the content on a specific device. For example, a restaurant website is more likely to be accessed through mobile devices when users are on the go. So you must keep it as the base, and align it for other kinds of devices and displays.
Prioritize content differently
While designers recommend focusing on context, they also prioritize content differently for different devices. Essentially, layout approaches vary for different content on the website. For example, you may present article teasers one way for some screen types. But the presentation may not work when the screen size changes. Larger screens will include elements, such as the editorial image, author image, article title, author’s name, and publication date. For smaller screens, designers skip out the editorial image to save space. The idea is to retain must-have elements and leave the non-essential ones to follow the rules of responsiveness.
Opt for thoughtful reduction
Most American web designers favor thoughtful reduction when it comes to creating responsive sites. For businesses operating in North Carolina, a seasoned charlotte web design expert can implement it for you. Essentially, the rule lets you remove elements for making the site suitable for smaller devices and screeds. But you have to be judicious about what to eliminate. The previous example clarifies that you can trim the editorial image from the blog to fit the site onto a smaller device. But you cannot get rid of the key elements like the post title, author name, and publication date. A designer needs to be intuitive enough to recognize frivolous elements and get rid of them for the sake of responsiveness.
Ensure scalable navigation
Website navigation is often a challenge for responsive design, specifically when you have large and deep menus. They may work perfectly on larger screens but will not fit on smaller devices. The best solution is to create clear and user-friendly navigation right from the start. It ensures scalability down the line when you have to prepare the site for different devices. Stick to consistent elements such as CTA buttons and links so that they appear the same everywhere.
Balance image quality with the loading speed
Image quality matters a lot because they make the first impression on the users who land on your site. But you cannot pick large and heavy ones as they can slow down the loading speed and even make the site unresponsive. As a rule, you must balance rich visuals with overall page performance. It is crucial to trim the unnecessary elements, no matter how attractive they appear. Elements like homepage carousels aren’t great to have from a responsiveness perspective because they have multiple large images. Alternatively, having a single static image can reduce the load and prevent performance issues across multiple devices. Besides removing the extras, you can optimize and compress the remaining images to speed up the site.
Responsive websites are essential for every business because you can expect potential customers to land from any device. Your site must be ready to render effectively across all of them, whether desktop, mobile, or tablet. Ensuring responsiveness may take some effort and a lot of design expertise. But it is a worthy investment, considering it opens your business to a broader audience base. Additionally, it gets you ahead on the SEO front and secures high search rankings. Following these rules will help your site win the responsiveness game, so you must make sure that your design professionals stay a step ahead.