With the steady growth in the mobile web and the confirmation from Google that it will rank pages depending upon their responsiveness in future, the ability of a website to adapt to different screen sizes on various devices is on the spotlight. It might look like a simple job involving stretching or squeezing but in reality, at the outset but in reality, it is a different ball game altogether.
In line with the above thought, here are some ideas that will help you accomplish the task of achieving a responsive web design.
Despite the efforts for the biggest screens at the initial stages, designers started scaling down and looking for smaller screens at the subsequent stages. They tried out all the fancy elements to fit a web page into smaller screens but when it did not work well, they came up with the mobile version. What can you learn from it? Of course, the lesson that nothing fits better on a mobile screen than the mobile version of a website.
Adopt the ‘mobile first’ approach in your overall strategy for responsive web design and development to make the things more simple and straightforward for yourself in this regard. Also, do not forget to consider the case of those who use tablets.
Once you are certain about what a visitor on a mobile phone should see at the top part of their screen while visiting your website on their mobile phone, the rest becomes a cakewalk. Take some time to analyse which elements of your website are good at capturing visitors’ attention and then prepare the layout in accordance with it.
For other content, you can always rely on scrolling. As a matter of fact, you could take a cue from websites like Facebook and Twitter on how to apply this feature successfully to the mobile version of your website.
Though a challenging aspect, navigation constitutes an important feature at the same time. It is a good idea to get your navigation done based on different screen sizes.
One of the tricks which you can apply here is using a dedicated icon (one which resembles a burger) to indicate a menu. To enhance the user experience, explore with several options – make it overlay on the whole screen, slide it down or go for a horizontal swipe. Regardless of the option you choose, make sure that you maintain consistency throughout so that the users find it easy to understand and use.
Just like content, images also need optimization in the mobile version of a website. This assumes importance from the fact that downloading bigger images on mobile devices may actually frustrate a visitor rather than improving their user experience. Adding the option of horizontal swiping or long-scrolling would do a world of good in terms of enhancing their overall experience of viewing your website on their mobile device or tablet.
Other than the features described above, you also need to be careful about typography. More often than not the typography of a website which looks alright on a website might evoke the opposite feeling when viewed on a mobile phone. Do not make the length of a line too long. Generally, 60-75 characters per line would be ideal.
After applying these changes, do not forget to test them on actual devices. This would be the sure-fire way to establish the successful implementation of responsive web design and development.