The art of responsive website design: ensuring a seamless user experience across devices. By Graeme Leslie, Designtastic
A few decades ago, the only way to access websites was via desktop computers. Most businesses didn’t have the means to create websites, but if they did, they only really had to worry about how the website looked, and worked, on computers.
This meant that, usually, websites functioned in the same way regardless of where you were viewing them. Obviously, things have since changed.
Visiting websites nowadays is as simple as pulling out your phone from your pocket and opening your browser. More than half of all global website traffic originates from mobile phones*. And that’s before taking into account all the other devices that can get online: tablets, smart TVs, games consoles, smart watches, and more.
Responsive website design is crucial in today’s landscape, and in this blog, we’ll be breaking down why.
Why is responsive design so important in today’s digital landscape?
We’ve all experienced an unoptimised website. If you visit a website that lacks a mobile or a tablet version, you’ll often need to zoom in just to read what’s on the pages, never mind navigate between them. Some images will be too big, others will be too small, and nothing seems to work the way it should.
Responsive design avoids all of the above. It allows you to design a single website that can automatically scale up or down depending on the device it’s being accessed with. This is far more efficient than the alternative- designing multiple versions of the same website for different devices.
If a potential customer has a hard time navigating your website because it’s inadequately optimised for their device, they’re far less likely to stick around. And if you don’t have a strong website, one (or more) of your competitors probably will.
Responsive design is also a factor when it comes to SEO. Mobile-friendly websites are favoured by Google, and are more likely to rank highly in search results. That means more eyes on your website- and more customers.
The challenges of adapting your website for different devices- and their solutions
Adapting your website for phones and other devices is not without its challenges. Navigation menus, for example, can be a tricky one. If your main navigation menu features a number of different options, they’re unlikely to fit on a device with a smaller screen.
But removing any of those options risks altering the user experience in a way that could confuse visitors. This can be rectified by considering your website’s information hierarchy. Look into your website metrics to find out what information your visitors are looking for most. This should give you an idea on how to arrange your menus, and submenus, in a way that fits on all devices.
Another common challenge is image sizing. The images on your website might look great on specific devices and tab sizes, but take care to make sure they look great everywhere else. One way to go about this is by using percentages, rather than pixels, for the value of your images. This allows images to adjust their size depending on their environment, rather than staying fixed.
Conclusion: ensuring a seamless user experience across devices
Solid website design is vital to most businesses. But even if your website is functionally and visually appealing on desktop, you could be missing out on a plethora of prospects without responsive design. The bar for businesses’ websites is rising every year, so now is as good a time as any to start looking into responsive design, and keep up with the digital landscape.
Need a hand with ensuring a seamless user experience? We’re a creative company with an extensive range of services for marketing your business, including responsive website design. Arrange a 1 to 1 consultation to find out how we can tell your brand’s story in ways that connect with your audience.