Let’s recall the days when we used to tolerate the compressed form of desktop websites on our smartphones. Above that, we were required to pinch the screen to zoom in and out to read the content. This never appeared to be a satisfactory experience for us.
But, gone are those days; we can wind down as we don’t need to do this anymore. How?
- What are the Benefits of Mobile Responsive Design?
- Responsive Web Design vs. Adaptive Design – Difference
- Why is Responsive Design Important for Businesses?
- How to Check If Your Website Is Responsive (Tools)
- Best Practices – Mobile Responsive App Designs
- How to Design a Mobile Responsive Website
- Responsive Design Examples
Let’s brief it!
In 2015, Google emerged as a savior for site users by announcing a modification to the search engine algorithms. Since then, websites’ layouts or content have adapted to any screen size they are presented with and are tagged as mobile responsive sites. Now, websites hold the caliber to keep up with the various new devices and resolutions.
A site with responsive design improves both user experience and the site’s readability, time spent on the website, and user interaction, improving sales.
Most of the users leave sites needing a better mobile experience. So, we can keep our customers and sales. And it’s pretty easy to understand; how important responsive design is.
But how to design mobile responsive websites?
This responsive web design guide will discuss how to make your website responsive, the benefits, the importance of responsive design, and almost every relevant aspect. You will take away a complete knowledge of mobile responsive websites shortly.
What are the Benefits of Mobile Responsive Design?
A responsive layout ensures that users will get the best experience consistently on any device. Moreover, mobile responsive web design is a fantastic way to refine your site’s content and make the essential information visible to your site visitors.
Post Google algorithm update, sites with responsive design become mobile-friendly, surging their visibility on search engines.
Let’s check out some more benefits of mobile responsive sites.
Maintaining individual websites for your mobile and desktop audiences would be expensive.
But responsive design can save money by abolishing a mobile site cost. You can attract all your visitors using any device simply by paying for only a single website design.
Improved User Experience
For website owners, user experience is essential. Develop an easy-to-use website to engage more users and make them return. Be sure that your website loads faster, including images with proper resolution.
With responsive design, you can attain this easily. It eliminates the need for scrolling and zooming, makes content visible faster, and showcases a positive impression to site users.
Mobile responsive web designs allow easy and quick changes only at once. It comes with flexibility at its peak, easing things for your websites.
Easy Website Management
Many businesses, specifically smaller ones, need more website refresh or update time than it usually demands. Hiring a website designer would increase their expenses. So, businesses can quickly and faster update their site by making the website mobile responsive.
Boost Search Engine Ranking
As discussed above, mobile-responsive website designs are mobile-friendly that have more chances of attaining higher search page rankings that can catch customers’ eyes. Therefore, responsiveness eases the management of a business website.
Responsive Web Design vs. Adaptive Design – Difference
When it comes to mobile responsive web design, artistic web designers craft a website’s user interface in such a way that regardless of the type of device users are using, they can comfortably access the web page.
Web designers use HTML and CSS to create such designs and easily collaborate with developers to attain a better user experience.
Simply put, when you open the responsive web page on your laptop, it gives a larger view. On the other hand, if you open the site on your mobile, it synchronizes itself.
Using adaptive designs, web designs create the site’s user interface to craft different web page layouts for other devices. Depending on the device’s screen size, the method loads the page’s layout accordingly.
Besides, the adaptive design crafts distinct layouts for different devices, like different mobile screens size, tablet screens, and more.
Altogether, it defines the screen layout’s size and showcases the page’s content. This design demands more effort by designers as they need to build strategies for six different pages.
|It loads content per the device’s screen size.
|It loads the web page content that’s already designed.
|Designers need to work less as they are required to craft only a single web page layout.
|Designers need to put more effort as they are required to design six different site versions to showcase content perfectly on different screen sizes.
|New Layout Launch
|The site’s content adjusts if a new screen layout hits the market.
|Designers must build a new web page for every screen layout launch.
|Type of Design
|Sleek design as the design’s layout adjusts per the device used to view it.
|Design cracks from various spots because the website serves differently from the device or the browser used to view the site.
|This design works perfectly for larger websites that are developed from scratch.
|This design performs well for smaller websites that are being refreshed.
|Designers and developers with less experience can use responsive design with the availability of themes through CMS systems like Joomla, WordPress, and more.
|It’s easy to update; the current website to make it more mobile-friendly.
Why is Responsive Design Important for Businesses?
Responsive web design can assist you in resolving varied issues of your site. Let’s check how it’s essential for a business.
Better User Experience
A responsive web page loads faster on every device and leads to a better user experience, which improves lead generation, boosts conversions, and, thereby, sales.
Enhance Page Appearance on Different Screens
The responsive web design is mobile-friendly, enhancing its look on small and larger screens on all devices.
Improve Search Engine Rankings
Google takes the site’s responsiveness seriously and prefers responsive websites in its top search.
Easy Website Monitoring
You can only catch up with website tracking, analytics, and reporting in one place.
Reduce Content Management Cost & Time
The time and cost one needs to manage content decreases with responsive websites as one design adapts to different screen sizes.
Decreased Bounce Rate
Visitors love spending more time on mobile responsive web pages, which will make them stay on your page for quite a long time, leading to a reduced bounce rate.
Easy Site Maintenance
With responsive designs, designers don’t need to build different strategies for different screen sizes. So, maintenance becomes more accessible.
How to Check If Your Website Is Responsive (Tools)
After you follow responsive web design tips (mentioned above) and make your website responsive, you need to ensure the responsiveness of your site.
You can use various tools available online to test your site’s responsiveness. Let’s learn about the top three tools among them:
QuirkTools’ Screenfly will exhibit your site’s look on different screen sizes. You can only check the appearance of your site on desktops, smartphones, and even TV with larger screens. But, this tool needs to come forth with suggestions or hints that may help you with web responsiveness.
Mobile-Friendly Test by Google
Google’s version of the mobile-friendly test is easy to use. You only need to enter your site’s URL and click “Analyze.” After that, wait for the outcomes.
You will see a confirmation message with a green hue if your website is user-friendly. And if it’s not, the test will let you know the exact reasons behind it and recommend resources that may assist you in fixing the problem.
This tool lets you pick a specific mobile device in which you enter your website’s URL and interact with it.
This tool is quite helpful as it permits you to witness how your site performs on a mobile device and tests the forms and buttons; this way, you get to know whether your visitors will have a better user experience.
Well, you can use this tool along with the above-noted two tools or even yourself to ensure your site is responsive.
Best Practices – Mobile Responsive App Designs
When you design a mobile responsive app, you should follow a few best practices.
Mobile-first Approach to Design
Did you know half of the internet traffic, even more, comes from smartphones?
People find it easier to pull out mobile phones from their pockets and scroll down the screens than sign in to their laptops to run web pages. These handy devices rule the market regardless of their operating system or brand. In fact, with time, they are becoming robust enough to handle responsive web designs.
So, while designing your site, you must consider a mobile-first approach. Make the best use of max space available on mobile screens, keep navigation easy-to-use and simple with breakpoints, and choose high-resolution images with fast-loading caliber.
You don’t need to set a fixed width for your site’s mobile version, as mobile-friendly websites are accustomed to utilizing adaptable CSS media queries, various frameworks, and queries that usually demand code.
Plan Your Design Layout First
It would help if you prioritized the layout before designing your website. Most creative designers prefer crafting wireframes first, post that jumping onto the website’s visual designs, and then moving on to the coding phase.
Besides helping the designers frame the expected look and feel, this technique makes it easier for them to customize and integrate the template seamlessly with the brand.
Create And Test A Responsive Prototype
Always build various prototypes of your site and test them on different screen sizes available to ensure you emerge with a responsive outcome.
The static prototype will make your website stand uniquely; you need to consider a functional prototype to help you know how the website will perform and look. You should test your prototype on actual devices to ensure it performs flawlessly.
Following this strategy, you can save time, making the process hassle-free.
Additionally, preferring a visual web development platform may smoothen this process. Below are a few tools that you can use to craft responsive prototypes.
- Adobe Edge Reflow
Typography is Important on Small Screens
Next, it’s time to use typography. It would help if you utilized it to allow the visitors to consume information considerably in the shortest span possible.
For that, consider using the following:
- Type of Font: Highly legible font, specifically for important texts, such as navigation labels.
- Size of Font: Larger font sizes to enhance readability. For the body copy, you can prefer something within the range of 16x, which will be easy to read, whether on mobile or desktop. Alter the font size per the font’s design.
- Spacing: On smaller screens, spacing plays an essential role. Only opt for a little, as it may make your text appear floating in the space. Also, too little spacing will stack up your words, like stacked pancakes.
- Line Height: Choose the line height appropriately, within 1.25 to 1.5. Throughout the website designing process, keep rechecking your text on various devices to know if line height is not affecting text presentation.
Use Only The Words You Need
Desktops don’t restrict the use of text, but obviously, it’s not the right thing, as when it comes to mobile devices, you need to confine the text to small screens.
You should ensure the best and limited use of words that may put forth your story precisely, including your site’s purpose.
Add Keyboard Triggers in Forms
Form forms on your website should adapt to the screen’s size and width. After this, what comes first in our way to craft a responsive site is keyboard triggers. You only need to add input elements to your form fields.
Make sure that fields should trigger a textual keyboard while text input is required and the numerical keyboard when the areas need a number.
This way, your site’s mobile-friendliness will improve user experience.
Make Sure CTA buttons Are Easily Clicked
Stay attentive toward your site’s button. Your site structure should not make your button appear more petite and fit them into the screen that users find it tough to click.
Make your CTA buttons easily recognizable by using the following:
- Unique colors may make them appear outstandingly on the page.
- Circle or rectangle to showcase the site buttons.
- Padding on your site buttons to expand the clickable area.
Design for Thumbs & Fingers
Users interact with desktop sites via clicks, but mobile sites demand swipes and taps. Here responsive web design becomes tricky and physically distinct.
Desktop users run websites on computers, whereas mobile users use their handy devices. That’s why mobile UI designers craft site designs differently, targeting taps, swipes, and other chief UI elements with which users usually interact.
Use Optimised & Responsive Images
On every device, your site should exhibit images that may load quickly. For this, choose responsive images for your responsive website, which will pace up the loading speeds of your web pages.
The loading caliber of websites is increasingly becoming an essential component of SEO, bounce rate, and user experience. Users may leave your site if they find it taking too long to load and will choose to jump on areas that offer them quick information.
Prefer optimized and responsive images as with responsive design, images on smaller screens visually scale. They are usually 3MB in size, which diminish load times.
How to Design a Mobile Responsive Website
Step 1# Set Proper Responsive Breakpoints
A breakpoint in responsive design is the point at which the site’s layout and content adapt to offer the best and expect user experience.
Users can use any device with any screen size and resolution to run websites. Regardless of the devices, your site should look perfect with no obscured or distorted images or content.
To attain this, artistic designers should prefer using responsive breakpoints, also known as media query breakpoints or CSS breakpoints. Such points are defined in the code itself, and site content responds to them and adapts to the screen sizes to showcase the proper layout that may please the eyes and allow enhanced visual consumption.
For the below commonly used device resolutions, you can use the breakpoints employed across desktop, mobile, and tablet.
- 1920×1080 (9.61%),
- 1536×864 (4.11%)
- 1366×768 (7.87%),
- 414×896 (4.34%), and
- 360×640 (4.36%),
Step 2# Start with Fluid Grid First
Traditionally while turning the pages of the past, you will know that sites depended on pixel measurements. But today, they are developed on a fluid grid.
Let you know that a fluid grid sets the position of web elements on a website according to the screen size on which it’s displayed. It responds and resizes to match the screen’s size, despite making the things appear in a specific size.
Besides, a fluid grid is split into columns; widths and heights are scaled, regardless of setting to fixed dimensions.
One more high spot of a fluid grid is that it keeps the website visually consistent on various devices and provides closer regulation over alignments to pace design-relevant decision-making.
You must work on the site’s source code to make the fluid grid work properly.
Step 3# Consider Touchscreens
While devising how to make your site responsive, consider touchscreens also. Various mobile devices, like tablets and phones, are equipped with touchscreens. Some laptops have hit the market with touchscreen and keyboard functions.
A responsive website arrives with the trait of being easily accessed via touchscreens.
Let’s take an example of a drop-down menu on the homepage to understand it better.
On the desktop, all menu items must be large enough that users can quickly press them with their fingertips on a touchscreen.
On mobile screens, smaller elements work expectedly, like buttons that make detection and selection easier.
To make this possible, designers should use CTAs and images or optimized elements to get visible properly on varied screens.
Step 4# Implement Responsive Images & Videos
You can make images responsive to different screen resolutions and devices.
Let’s catch up with a few attributes used to implement responsive images and videos.
- Setting max-width tag: It will adjust the image’s size according to its container width.
- Source, picture, & IMG tags: Combining these three allows one image to be rendered and fits the best on any device.
- srcset: It lets the browser know about the to-be-displayed image, depending on the specific device’s screen resolution.
- sizes: It lets the designers specify the way the images would be displayed on different screen sizes.
- object-fit: This video property permits designers to specify how videos need to be resized to match the container’s size.
Designers can use aspect ratio to create responsiveness in videos.
position: It’s placed on the container element to let the child element use absolution positioning that’s relevant to it.
Step 5# Define Typography
Web developers generally define font sizes in pixels, which works well on static sites. But, considering responsive websites here, it demands a responsive font.
The font size needs to change as per container width. It’s essential to adjust typography to the screen size and be simply readable on various devices.
Step 6# Save Time Using a Pre-designed Layout or Theme
Suppose designers and developers are thinking deeply about how to develop a responsive website within the pre-defined timeframe. In that case, they can choose a layout or theme holding in-built responsive features.
WordPress arrives with diverse options for the same. Designers only need to pick a theme and finalize branding, color, and text.
Step 7# Test Responsiveness on Real Devices
While making mobile responsive websites, the team usually overlooks design testing on real devices. Developers can pick the code of their choice to verify the site’s functionality in real user conditions.
After completing the coding part, you can place your website through a responsive design checking tool. You only need to enter your site URL; the responsive web design checker reveals your website’s appearance on various devices.
Responsive Design Examples
Below, let’s cover a few instances of responsive web design from diverse industries and learn about their best aspects and mistakes.
New Website: New York Times
The desktop layout of the New York Times takes you to the memory of a traditional newspaper stuffed with visuals and various rows and columns of content. Each news category would have been held in a separate row or column.
On mobile, NYT fits into a single-column, standard layout. Besides, it adapts the menu per the format for easy usage.
In eCommerce, global leader Amazon has an engaging user interface that looks perfect across all devices. Its tablet layout removes some white space and appends icons’ easy-to-scroll section to let more content fit perfectly into a smaller package.
Amazon’s mobile layout fits into a single column, targeting the essentials, such as the latest purchase history, not link icons of varied sections from their main homepage.
Video Site: YouTube
YouTube: On tablet, mobile, and laptop.
A video grid on YouTube’s homepage design is flexible and relevant to every user. On mobile, the site gets diminished to a single-column format. The number of columns on tablets gets reduced to three in every row.
In YouTube’s mobile version, the primary menu shifts to the screen’s bottom, near smartphone users’ thumbs, improving the site’s UX and navigation.
Responsive web designs boost search engine visibility, meaning more visitors to your site. And more traffic leads to increased lead generation, conversions, and improved sales. These are the top three reasons that depict the importance of a responsive web design.
Moreover, Google demands optimized elements to deliver mobile-friendly and enhanced user experience using responsive web design.
So, be sure your users can view your website anywhere, regardless of the type of device. Make your website mobile responsive. You can hire a creative website designing and development company to help you craft a responsive web design and ensure an improved website ranking on Google.
Do you have some more reasons that may reveal the significance of a responsive design? Surely, comment below; we would love to hear from you.