With the mobile technology showing no signs of fading away, it has become imperative for individuals and enterprises to build their web portals keeping the mobile users in mind. Responsive design continues to remain the number one practice for developing websites that look awesome and function efficiently on different mobile devices. As a web designer, you too would have experimented with a variety of web design techniques. If responsive web design trend has impressed you lately and you're planning to delve into website creation using responsive design, then you've reached the right post. Here, I've covered ten cool tips on designing a perfect responsive websites. So, let's dig deeper into these tips.
1. Ensure performance is your main goal
Irrespective of tremendously fast speed of today's mobile devices, it is always recommended to build your website for gadgets equipped with slower internet connections. For instance, since 4G is restricted to just the modern countries, you need to pay special attention to designing mobile-friendly websites which can function flawlessly even on 2G and 3G networks. Ensure that the load time of the site is both, short and snappy.
2. Go the 'Images' way
Images form a critical component of every responsive web design. Unlike the case of a desktop-oriented website where a large hero image can turn to an excellent introduction to your portal, using such an image for a mobile-optimized website doesn't benefit the site owner. Here, you'll need to crop or remove the image altogether. Reason being very simple. The small screens of mobile devices aren't capable of displaying the images in the expected way. Keep a proper image management plan handy and abide by it while designing the website for different devices. There are situations when you'll need to create multiple versions of a single image-one for desktop and other for mobile visitors.
3. Avoid including Navigation Menus
Since your responsive website would be targeting smaller screens like tablets and smartphones, it is advised to hide the main navigation menu. You can opt for replacing this menu with a combination of an icon and text that can prompt the user about the existence of a menu. For instance, you can go ahead with including a simple drop-down menu which either slides down o expands to cover the entire device screen. That means, if there are more than three elements, you can go ahead with creating a single icon which opens up into a specific drop-down menu.
4. Try experimenting with multiple software programs
For a majority of web designers, building a complex responsive web design wouldn't be possible with the help of selected software programs. For instance, if you're building a fairly straightforward layout then using a simple template like 'Moboom' can work but for designing a complex layout you'll have to use specific software programs like GoMobi which will aid you in designing a stunning layout for websites targeting mobile users.
5. Simplify the website navigation
Despite the conventional method of having complex navigation schemes for e-commerce websites, you may take a step up by using a robust navigation menu that can be presented using predictable labels. If the browse through the top-rated e-commerce websites, you'll find they include a simple and clear navigation system, thereby keeping their visitors engaged to the products and services delivered by the company.
6. Take full advantage of Google web design standards
If you're a beginner in the field of responsive website development or have built a responsive site you aren't satisfied with, then learning about Google's design standards is a must-do. Apart from grabbing excellent tips and tricks on designing responsive sites for smartphones, you can also know about the things you need to do for making the web pages load quickly on different hand-held gadgets.
7. Make your site's content readable
It's not a good idea to make your readers zoom in and out for reading a particular piece of text. As a thumb rule, make sure to keep the text size large enough so that it is readable even when viewed on a device with smaller screen. An ideal text size is 16 px, 12 pt or 1 em.
8. Get to know about the grid and breakpoints
While designing the responsive website, make sure you're well familiar with the breakpoint- the point at which the content doesn't sit next to each other and instead falls to the next line. Additionally, you'll also be required to learn about the grid based system that would allow you to implement the row and column structure for your web design.
9. Double the image sizes for high-resolution screens
As per this tip, you'll need to double the size of images so as to make them look sharp on screens with high resolution values. Here, you need to ensure that the site's load time isn't affected negatively.
10. Keep the screen orientation in mind
As per statistics, the portrait orientation is being used by over 41% people and the landscape orientation is preferred by a whopping 59% people. Hence, you need to design your responsive website in a way that it looks great on both the orientations, especially the landscape one.
Responsive design makes it possible for everyone to visit and use your website, irrespective of the device that they have chosen to do so. I'm sure the above listed tips would guide you during your next responsive website development project.