Before going into the details of the creation of a responsive website, let’s start with the basics of what responsive or cell phone design really means.
What is responsive web design?
Simply put, a website suitable for mobile phones is a website that automatically detects the device from which the user is browsing and which adjusts the layout to conform to the specifications of the device and improve the experience of the user.
The goal of responsive website design is to provide a consistent user experience across all devices. It aims to minimize zoom, pan and scroll when the user accesses the website from a mobile browser or a tablet. It reduces confusion, allows smooth navigation and above all a pleasant user experience.
Why is designing a responsive website an essential requirement for businesses?
Mobile-friendly websites are an important part of the user experience. In this ultra-competitive era, your business simply cannot afford to have a non-responsive website.
Mobile devices and their users today make up a significant portion of the traffic that arrives at your website. Offer these visitors a satisfying user experience and consistent across devices is essential for the longevity of your business. Also discover 3 website analysis tools to better understand your users.
Conventional websites that are not mobile-friendly end up looking cluttered when opened on small screens like cellphones and tablets. On responsive sites, the presentation is restructured so that users can easily view the content and navigate the site on different devices with varying screen sizes.
Given the efforts that your company must have made to attract traffic to your web pages, you certainly do not want to keep potential customers who navigate your website using a mobile device (by offering them a bugged user experience) ).
Another important consideration that makes the use of responsive design practices crucial is the effect of “mobile-friendly” on SEO ranking, as well as finding the right keywords for your SEO. Since the introduction of Google’s mobile indexing, the way the website works on mobile devices has also determined its ranking in Google’s search rankings.
Tips for designing responsive websites without taking the lead
1. Switch pixels to grids
Rather than basing your website design on fixed-size pixels, the adoption of fluid grids allows to obtain liquid layouts that extend with web pages. The elements of your website are proportionally sized by a grid, rather than limiting them to a particular size in the case of pixels.
The flexible grid is able to resize dynamically to adapt to the different dimensions of the screen. The grid is not based on pixels or percentages and is rather designed in terms of proportions. All grid elements resize their width relative to each other depending on the size of the screen on which they are displayed. The best known grid is that of bootstrap.
The grid view divides the web page into columns that make it easier to place items on the page. Flexible grids do half the work in a responsive design, but if the width of the browser window becomes too small for smaller screens, having a design that spans two or three columns won’t do the job. ‘case. In this case, the use of media queries becomes essential.
2. Use media queries and breakpoints
Media requests allow you tooptimize the layout of the we siteb for different screen widths. The content meets different conditions on different devices, while the media request checks the width, resolution and orientation of the device used and all the relevant CSS rules are displayed.
Media requests use the rule @media to include a block of CSS if the specified condition is true. It can be used to exclude certain elements if the screen size is less than the desired width, which makes the layout more suitable to be displayed on different screens.
@Media queries can also be used to introduce breakpoints in different parts of the design to make it more mobile and optimized.
3. Always use a viewing window
The area of the web page visible to users is the viewport. It varies depending on the device on which the website is viewed. By integrating the viewing window with a meta tag, the browser receives instructions regarding the scale and dimensions of the page.
The use of meta-tags saves the user from navigating on a small screen and having to scroll horizontally or zoom out excessively to see the content, which improves user experience on smartphones. The width of the viewing window can be determined using media queries, which allows developers to enter the specifications of different browsers or device orientations.
Integrating mobile design in the first place is also a good strategy to adopt when designing a responsive website. This is to use targeted styles on smaller viewing windows, like the default website. You can then use media requests to add styles as the window expands, saving valuable bandwidth.
4. Make the website responsive to the touch
The size of icons in web design must be large enough for touch targets (buttons, links, etc.) to be comfortable when used via mobile devices. Responsive websites should be designed with mouse clicks and finger touches in mind.
When designing for mobile, it’s tempting to‘Make more use of spacenotch available by putting more elements and condensing the size of the buttons, it is imperative to design for human fingers and keep the design sensitive to touch. According to material design guidelines, buttons should have a minimum height of 36 px to guarantee accessibility.
When integrating input fields on the mobile website, make sure that the touch targets are large enough to allow users to touch and ultimately convert. Make sure the incorporated design and color palette bring out the buttons. If you’re designing e-commerce websites, make sure the payment process is frictionless to ensure maximum conversions for your business.
5. Optimize media for mobile (image, video…)
Media management, whether it’s images or videos on the mobile version of your website, is one of the most difficult parts to manage when designing a responsive website. In the case of images and videos, it is recommended to use the maximum width property.
When optimizing the size of images and videos for mobiles, set the maximum width to 100% and the height to auto. The image will be reduced depending on the screen on which it is to be displayed. In the case of background images, set the size as “contain” and she will adapt to the content area. The image size should be small and the images should be compressed to ensure faster website loading, which is also essential from a SEO perspective.
6. Don’t miss the reactive typography
Typography is the cornerstone of website design. In order for content to appear effective when viewed on mobile devices, the font size must be optimized for mobile devices as well. Using pixels to define the font size works when working on a fixed-width website, but in the case of responsive websites, a reactive font is essential.
CSS3 specifications include a new unit called rems which is relative to HTML elements, which means that the entire web page dynamically adjusts according to the width of the browser window.
7. Rely on experts
Responsive website design is not simple and can be time consuming. In addition to technical know-how, one must have a thorough knowledge of the design. The design followed by the coding must then be subjected to rigorous tests on a whole series of different devices to ensure that each element is in its place and functioning properly. And these tests can take several months … But the good news is that it exists a tool allowing you to go 10 times faster ! This tool is PinPut, a web marketing software allowing you to have the replay of each user session. A great way to observe errors and adapt accordingly.
You can also call on a responsive website design company specializing in creating digital experiences, you will most likely design a mobile friendly website. The cost however can be high, you can lower it by creating your site yourself using a CMS. Find out which CMS to choose.