4 Fundamentals of Responsive Web Design
Is responsive web design just a pass or is it here to stay? It’s too early to pass a verdict on this (the term was coined only in 2010 by Ethan Marcotte). But in today’s design and tech world, it definitely has its takers.
Why is it the preferred choice amongst industry experts? The reason is obvious – responsive web design offers enhanced web experience for viewers across multiple devices with diverse browser sizes. This adds to the attraction of the site for users.
While it will take more time to fine tune every aspect of responsive web design, it is already a favored choice for businesses. It is high time you get to know the fundamentals of this trend to design sites that enrich user experience.
Let’s take a look at what you need to get right to create responsive design.
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Understand Its Nature
Don’t limit your approach with the misconception that responsive web design and mobile web design is one and the same thing. A responsive site does need to be viewed with ease on a mobile phone, but that isn’t all that is to it.
When you create a website specifically for the mobile phone, you limit its reach. It won’t be suitable for desktops or tablets. The chief tenet of responsive web design is that it must be fit for all resolutions. This broadens the reach of the website.
An ideal way to create such a design is to start from the mobile web design idea. Web designers share the opinion that it is easier to expand the site from this point and build up something more appropriate for the bigger browsers.
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Identify Ideal Typography
If the font you choose looks great on a desktop but isn’t legible on a Smartphone, it isn’t apt for responsive design. Again, if the layout leaves off content when viewed on a smaller screen, it isn’t any good either.
The line length is of paramount importance. You need to use lesser characters per line for smaller devices and more characters for bigger ones and add more space to enhance readability. Condensation of multiple columns in a single one also works well.
Your choice of the typeface also matters. Stylish fonts may look great on bigger screens but they won’t be comprehensible on smaller ones. It is best to stick to normal sans serif styles and even strokes to come up with a design that works for all.
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Focus on Imagery
Two things matter most when it comes to the images you use for the website – the quality and the loading time. If the images are blurry or take minutes to load, a user won’t like them. And they won’t be any good for your site too.
The easiest way to achieve a smart balance between the two is to crop the images to the smallest possible size without any sacrifice of their visual excellence. You may also use CSS height and width properties to scale images.
Other smart ways to achieve your objective is to lessen the number of images, optimize them for the Internet and avoid full-size images. With a little tweak, you can choose images that work for all browser sizes. A good example of this is the KinHR site.
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Prioritize Ease of Navigation
Whether a user views the site on a desktop, a tablet or a Smartphone, one thing that affects its success is the ease of navigation. If it’s too complicated to find the next button, a user won’t be bothered about it.
You can enhance the user experience only when you create a responsive web design that is easy to navigate. How do you do it? A workable solution is to create pop-up or slide-down navigation menus that are easier to steer through.
A user, whichever device he/she uses to access your site, must come across a design that is easy, intuitive and fun. Otherwise, you cannot expect them to stay on the site. Make sure it’s clear to make sure the website retains the user’s attention.