Responsive design aims to provide the greatest user experience possible across a wide variety of devices, whether you’re using a PC, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone. It is based on the premise that we read content on many screens and that this content should automatically adapt to your screen size.
It’s critical that your business’s website is responsive, just like a car’s steering wheel or brakes. Therefore, let’s define responsive design, why you should utilize it, and how you may include it into your website or existing design.
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What is responsive design?
A nice user experience is critical for modern websites. Fifteen years ago, everyone used a desktop computer with a monitor to surf the web, but today, there are many more options.
The purpose of responsive design is to optimize the user experience across all devices, regardless of how the design appears. For example, you may offer information as a single column on a smartphone and two columns on a laptop, but the branding and content would remain identical.
Responsive design ensures that users experience the least amount of scrolling, panning, zooming, and, most importantly, confusion. It enhances the user experience for everyone, regardless of the device they use to access your site.
Your website should look equally excellent on a 4-inch smartphone screen as it does on a 17-inch laptop screen. That is what responsive design is capable of accomplishing.
Why use responsive design?
Creating a positive customer experience is critical to the longevity of any organization. And, believe it or not, your website is a virtual extension of your brick-and-mortar establishment.
When customers enter your shop, you may greet them, offer them a hot beverage, and inquire about any questions you may assist them with. That is all part of providing an exceptional customer experience that will entice the customer to return.
On the Internet, the same concept holds true. The more fun and simple a customer’s interaction with a website is, the more likely they are to stay, browse, make a purchase, or even return later.
Consider your own online experiences. Would you ever return to a website that took more than a minute to load, did not display properly on your mobile device, or simply refused to work? Certainly not! This is a significant reason why you should ensure that your site design is compatible with all devices, and responsive design is critical to doing this.
Additionally, Google’s search engine algorithms take into account a website’s mobile friendliness. This means that responsive websites are far more likely to score highly in any given search than non-responsive websites. As a result, it is unquestionably in your best advantage to make your website responsive!
How to implement a responsive design
Now that you understand what responsive design is and why it’s critical for business owners who own a website, here’s a quick approach to make the necessary changes to your site.
1. Utilize a fluid grid
Years ago, the majority of websites were designed using a unit called a pixel. However, designers have transitioned to a flexible grid in recent years.
A grid appropriately sizes the items on your site, rather than making them uniform in size. This simplifies the process of resizing elements for different screen sizes: the components will adapt to the screen’s size (i.e., the grid), not the size they are set to in pixels.
A responsive grid is frequently divided into columns, with scaled heights and widths. Nothing is fixed in terms of breadth or height. Rather than that, the proportions are determined by the size of the screen.
You can configure this grid’s rules by editing the CSS and other code on your website.
2. Make provision for touchscreens
Even laptops are now equipped with touchscreens. This highlights the need of designing responsive websites with both mouse and touchscreen users in mind.
If you have a form on a desktop view that includes a drop-down menu, consider designing it to be larger and easier to tap with a fingertip on touchscreen devices. Additionally, keep in mind that small elements (such as buttons) are extremely difficult to touch on smartphones, so make sure that images, calls to action, and buttons display properly across all screen sizes.
3. Make a decision about which elements to include on small displays.
Responsive design does not imply that your website should be identical on all devices. You want to provide the best user experience possible, which may involve omitting certain elements when someone views your site on a very small screen.
Responsive websites frequently reduce their menus or navigational options into a single clickable button. On a wide screen, the menu may appear extended, yet on a tiny screen, it can be accessed with this single button.
Again, you may define rules for adding or excluding specific elements by editing the CSS and other code on your website. This may require some time to set up, but your guests will be quite grateful!
4. Consider images
Image scaling can be a particularly difficult feature of responsive web design. You’ll need to define CSS rules that specify how images are handled on different screens—whether they’re made full width, eliminated, or treated differently.
5. Consider utilizing a pre-designed theme or layout.
If you are not a natural designer, you may require additional assistance in changing your site to be responsive. The good news is that assistance is available.
If you lack the time or inclination to develop a responsive website from scratch, you can “cheat” by utilizing a theme or pre-designed layout. This means that all you’ll need to do is update the colors, logo, and content to reflect your business’s needs.
If you’re using WordPress, there are a plethora of responsive themes available, both free and premium. The same is true for a large number of prominent ecommerce companies that offer themes on their websites.
6. Outsource your endeavor
If you do not utilize WordPress or a hosted ecommerce website, finding a pre-designed theme to use may be impossible. Alternatively, you may desire a design that more closely suits your unique requirements or company logo. To be honest, you could always hire someone to make something specifically for you!
A web design business with experience, such as the Feels Good Company, can create responsive websites. Indeed, all of the websites we develop are responsive by default! This means you’ll never have to bother about revamping your site to make it mobile-friendly (unless you have another goal in mind).
Additionally, you can hire a freelancer to remodel your site; however, be sure to check their references, as this is a more advanced work. Responsive website design demands a firm foundation in web design. This is not an area where cost-cutting is acceptable. Allow funds in your budget to pay for a complete job so that you do not have to revisit this issue six months from now.
For the long term, responsive design is critical.
Responsive design is not a passing trend or fad; it is a long-term strategy in which you must invest. Screens continue to evolve, and your website must accommodate all browsers regardless of the device customers use.
By making your website’s design responsive, you eliminate the risk of your website becoming obsolete due to new technologies. Whatever new development occurs, your site will be prepared. This will not only save your sanity and money, but will also ensure the happiness of your visitors.
We’ve provided numerous tips for making your website more responsive in this article, but we recognize that some of them may be too technical for you. Therefore, if you’re interested in learning more about how Feels Good can assist you in making your website more responsive, contact one of our web design specialists today for a free, no-obligation estimate. We’d love to hear your suggestions and work with you to fulfill your particular needs!
Feels Good is a Kenyan-based full-service Digital Creative Agency. We offer much more than responsive web design; we can assist you with anything from search engine optimization to online marketing. We’re excited to hear from you!