Wouldn’t it be great to have your website be functional and aesthetically pleasing? Not only is this an ideal goal, but it’s also quickly becoming essential.
“User experience” is a term that’s become popularized over the last 3-5 years, its main tenant being that website visitors need to access pages fast and on any screen size. As mobile search becomes the predominant form of web browsing, the need for responsive web design has never been greater.
Responsive web design is a mainstay, and it’s important to equip your site with the right tools to be successful.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is the ability for a website to remain viewable across all devices. These sites can dynamically adapt to different screen sizes whether on an iPhone, a tablet, or a desktop, allowing more users to access and view your content.
Designers can also hide certain elements on a device-specific basis. This is useful if you have multimedia content that is meant to be viewed on a desktop instead of a mobile device.
The advantage of responsive web design is that users can avoid unnecessary resizing or zooming based on their device. It’s no longer a one-size-fits-all situation, where users are forced to see the same “desktop view” on their mobile or tablet devices. Back in the day, web designers had to create entirely separate versions of the same website for each medium.
This was the way of life in the mid-2000s, but thankfully it’s not anymore.
What Elements are Part of a Responsive Web Design?
Making a website responsive means adding certain elements that will make the site function properly across all devices.
Large navigational menus can look great on desktops, but not so great on mobile devices. The solution to this is the hamburger menu.
Let’s look at HartfordFlavor.com. In the desktop view we can see that they have a full navigation menu in the header:
But if we loaded this site on a mobile device, the menu would be difficult to read. In fact, it’d probably look something like this.
The issue is that you’re forcing the user to make adjustments, like changing their zoom levels. A lot of people will close their browsers at this point and give up, costing you potential sales.
Here’s how Hartford Flavor looks on a mobile device:
The hamburger menu opens by clicking on the icon ≡ in the top right.
It opens up like an accordion but vertically, showing users all the main navigational pages as they would appear on a desktop. This ensures that the user receives the same experience no matter their device or screen size.
An experienced web designer will know to create a separate menu bar for each device, ensuring that proper branding and aesthetics are maintained throughout.
Most premade website themes on the market today are built with responsive web design in mind, but you should always demo before purchasing one just to make sure.
A clunky theme can ruin your website, especially if it is not optimally coded for responsiveness. Page speed can suffer as well, leading to higher bounce rates and fewer conversions.
Understanding the Space
Space limitations are important to keep in mind when designing a responsive website. While there might be 4 columns of content you can place on desktops, an iPhone or iPad would have only 1 or 2 columns.
Font size and line-height should also be tested across devices. The text might look perfectly spaced out on a desktop but appear cluttered and hard to read on mobile devices.
Why You Need Responsive Web Design Today
If it hasn’t been clear to this point, responsive design is a must-have for any website. It will place you in front of more eyeballs and help more people engage with your brand.
There are also some pretty great secondary benefits of a responsive website.
Good for SEO
Want better rankings? A responsive website is a great step in that direction. We know that Google factors in things like page speed, time on page, and other engagement metrics into their ranking’s formula. If your website doesn’t load properly across all devices then you’re losing traffic.
Plus, Google has introduced mobile-first indexing for every website across the internet. This means when Google adds new pages to the search engine, they’ll look at the mobile version first to determine quality.
Sites that don’t load properly on mobile will receive errors in Google Search Console, leading to serious rankings demotions.
Customers Enter Your Sales Funnel Faster
Instead of making customers call your store to inquire about a product or service, you can allow them to sign-up or book an appointment in a few clicks from the comfort of their phone.
Rather than putting callers on hold for several minutes and ultimately losing their business, customers can quickly enter their information on your website without the hassle. A responsive website makes this process simple.
Who to Contact for a More Responsive Website
Getting a responsive website is easier than ever before. Although there are many quality themes available for purchase, you should contact an experienced web designer who can manage the site regularly.
Any time a new page is created, there will likely be new design considerations to account for. Hiring a reputable web team will ensure that your site remains mobile-friendly and aesthetically pleasing for years to come.