10 Responsive Web Design Tips You Cannot Do Without

8 mins read

Responsive web design (RWD) has already swept the web in past few years and still, websites are busy fine-tuning it further. But let us begin with the basics. What does responsive design signify? Well, responsive design ensures a homogeneous web experience irrespective of the browser or the type of device is in use. Designers achieve this by using flexible images, fluid grids and easily scalable design layouts. All these and many more aspects just cannot be learned better from textbooks but only from personal experience and the experience of other designers. Well, here we are going to introduce 10 such responsive web design tips learned from the experience.

1. A Mobile First Approach

The majority of browsers are now in mobile and a vast majority of mobile browsers exclusively use mobile devices to access the web. Naturally, a mobile first approach is inevitable. You need to make your design excel first in the small space and then scale to the desktop screen. This approach will make the design better equipped to address a variety of screen sizes. Mobile media engagement now stands at 62% of total time spent on digital media while the desktop engagement stands only at 38%. A majority of the desktop users belong to B2B niche. So, if your business needs to remain accessible to the majority of users, a mobile first approach is inevitable.

2. Using Fluid Grids

By using fluid grids the designers can enjoy the better capacity to manipulate diverse parameters beyond the traditional design layouts. Without layout designing with fixed pixels fluid grid will allow you perfecting the pixel counts as per the proportion of the screen in hand. This helps in molding the design to different screen sizes easily without really compromising on the visual quality. Moreover, the fluid design allows dividing the target page elements as per context to allow every on-page element the right page portion it deserves.

3. Lazy loading

This is one of the most commonly discussed things when it comes to responsive design. Page loading speed is important to keep your users and minimize the bounce rate. It is also important to have a better search engine ranking just on account of better performance score. Responsive design with flexible images and scalable attributes cater to different devices in a befitting way and thus help to avoid slow loading speed. Actually, a vast majority of responsive sites just load in less than 10 seconds.

How can you ensure optimum page speed? Well, there are various aspects to it. Besides optimizing images, there is lazy loading that can make your contents load faster. Lazy loading ensures loading contents that are being searched for and prevents loading the whole site or page at one go. This helps faster loading.

4. Optimizing Images for Mobile Devices

Large images besides slowing down the page loading offer a lot of complexities concerning resolution. To prevent this you need to optimize these images through compression. The compressed images besides maintaining higher resolution and image quality help to decrease the byte size. This also helps to reduce the load on customers data usage while not compromising with the visual output.

5. Addressing user context

With the proliferation of mobile devices across all nooks and corners of life user behavior remains highly unpredictable. From locations to user scenarios to user preferences in particular situations, all these aspects are crucial for apps to offer relevant use. Well, these elements together dubbed as user context are keys to mobile marketing and app behavior. Without addressing user context any app risks being avoided. From a design perspective, responsive design helps to address user contexts as per location, time of the day and particular user cases. Thanks to advanced device level sensors and location input now designers can easily incorporate contextual elements in their design.

6. Stripped-off, brief and visually optimized content

Most mobile users just prefer to scan a document instead of reading it thoroughly. Mobile users browsing on the go or beside other engagement are less prone for attentive reading than their desktop counterparts. This smaller attention span of mobile users demands to serve them with brief, very relevant contents optimized visually for quick on-the-go reading. Moreover, you should avoid making your content subject to too much scrolling action as most users stick to mainly above-the-fold content.

7. Size is crucial for links and CTA

When it comes to mobile size is not just crucial for images but for almost everything. Every clickable area including the CTA buttons and the on-page links should be sized for the mobile accessibility. 44px x 44px is the ideal dimension for our finger-taps to touch over a target link and anything smaller than this risks being avoided by the users. Besides the size, the links and CTA buttons should have enough space inter between to allow ease of navigation and click-through action.

8. Use JQuery

JQeuery has already been dubbed as the secret weapon for creating a robust responsively designed website. Thanks to this tool the web designers can make use of various plug-ins that boosts responsiveness and adaptability of the design as per user contexts and devices. There are various helpful JQuery plugins for a responsive design like Supersized, FitVids, FitText, Elastislide, etc.

9. Using templates

Templates are still the best friends of designers to create the responsive design of websites. For new and less experienced designers often the ready in hand templates with several responsive elements built in, can allow great ease of designing for a multitude of devices. Templates also help them to master the skills and tricks of responsive design.

10. Test your design across devices

Finally, your design is not validated of its responsive quality without being tested. To ensure it displays the way you always wished it to be, either you need to test the design across as many devices as possible or simply depend on emulators for the result. There is an array of mobile emulators that allows simulating a mobile experience for different devices but nothing comes as effective as testing it across real device screens of various brands.

  • Author Bio
  • Darshan Patel is a lead SEO Analyst & Storyteller at Nimblechapps – The coolest mobile game development and iphone app development company. He believe in using a variety of strategy to create business’s online presence that delight and deliver.