How To Build Mobile Friendly Websites
UPDATED: AUGUST 17, 2016 – ARTICLE: 4 KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN DEVELOPING A RESPONSIVE WEBSITE
Category: Website Design & Development
Are you thinking of creating your own website? Then you should read our article on developing a responsive website. We are living in an era of mobile and therefore designing for it is all what we need to bring in some honest bucks. Developing a responsive website design is a term that has been gaining a lot of traction these days, and playing a significant role in providing a pleasurable browsing experience on mobile. Check if your site is mobile friendly.
As smartphones and tablet devices are being launched rapidly, an interesting shift can be seen in the way they have bought the world at our fingertips. Developing a responsive website design has emerged as a decisive factor to fulfill the modern needs and expectations of mobile audience on the go.
However, designing a responsive site isn’t an easy job at all. There are a lot of factors one needs to keep in mind to avoid making pit falls and poor design choices.
In this post, I have compiled a list of some key points that can provide a road map to create a highly engaging responsive design at the time of either developing mobile application or a full-fledged responsive site for your clients or customers.
So, let’s know about them in detail.
1. Give Relevance To Vital Content
If you are designing for mobile, you need to think and move beyond from the conventionality that makes our design look fragile. Prioritizing elements and content is extremely important if you want to raise above from the clutter.
Vital content is requisite for both site owner as well as visitor. It is what makes a website look legit and commendable. Simply map out the order to which your content should appear on each page of your website. It’s not that tricky to achieve all you need is to explore some basic facts that ultimately help you register a presence in the mobile web.
President Obama’s website is a great working example showcasing an intelligent choice of content placement and design. Let’s explore a little bit about it:
The most fascinating thing about this website is its placement of content that automatically gains importance. As the width becomes narrow, the “DONATE” button takes the center position along with the “Log in” and “Create Account” button. “Email” and “ZIP” forms also draw our attention.
Also, it’s worth noticing the blend of both emotional and practical elements in the form of pictures and words. The word “I’M IN” creates a sense of zeal, and on the top of it, the overall website stays true to basic designing principles and collective efforts to make the his campaign successful.
2. Think About Grids And Breakpoints
A great responsive design must be able to make its content resize or change its position according to the screen size. This is one of the key considerations of a successful responsive design – and it can be daunting. You should start thinking about which content should stay next to each other when viewing on both desktops as well as mobiles.
You can take the help of the concept of breakpoints and grid based system. Breakpoints are those points at which your website content should be able to respond to ensure a pleasurable user experience. This is a nice way to divide your content and make the information easy to consume.
If you want your responsive web design to standout, simply stop using flat usuals and Photoshop comps right away. They do nothing apart from making the whole process complex. Though they are good at giving us the “idealist” view of how our responsive design should look like, but in most of the cases they fail to produce the exact end results.
No matter whether it’s about padding or spacing the elements, executing typefaces, and the quality of imagery, the final results are almost contrary to what we have been desperately hoping for.
The reason why I am not favoring visuals is that they are too good to look at. The whole bunch of flawless images, spectacular typography, the use of drop shadows, together give the design a grandeur status. These are the things that elevate our client’s expectations and when we not meet them things go wrong.
The best way of fabricating a responsive design is to first go for prototypes, using HTML & CSS values. This is something which will assist you in producing the desirable outcomes, without letting down your client’s expectations. Present these prototypes in the browser and show the client how the design actually looks when rearranging at different widths and devices.
These tools will make your more productive and streamline your workflow. By defining CSS class you need to make only a single update and the change will reflect across all the pages. Also, it makes testing a lot easier as it can be done at various screen sizes simultaneously.
4. Make Your Design All Pervasive
The trickiest part of designing a website is that it’s almost impossible to predict experience of each user, especially when there is variety between devices. Your target audience can use mobile devices and browse website in any way they like. In fact, there are chances that they could be using televisions too. Your should should be universally usable and capable enough to pique your users interest and give them reasons to stick around it.
To achieve this goal efficiently, make sure you have a significant knowledge of touchscreen and interactive elements within an interface. Keep their size optimum enough for a better experience. Also, avoid using hover states on mobile devices.
Navigation is yet another crucial and challenging aspect of a responsive design. Handle it carefully to give your users directions to explore your website. You can make use of jump links, drop-down menus, and off-canvas methods to make your navigation stand out.
It’s impossible for you to fall short of ways and techniques to build a compelling responsive design. I have listed those which I personally find critical for an impeccable responsive design.