For the past few years, responsive web design has been hailed as “the future of the web,” with tech gurus declaring that businesses would need to have responsively designed websites if they wanted to remain competitive in the future. When the use of mobile devices to access the Internet outpaced the use of PCs earlier this year, the future became now. Websites designed for viewing on PC or laptop screens do not translate well to the smaller screen sizes and shapes of mobile devices. Webpages are either too small to see or only show a small portion of a page at a time so users have to engage in extensive scrolling; buttons and features can be hard to access; and some picture-dense sites cannot even load without crashing mobile browsers. Responsive web design, which adjusts the appearance and layout of web pages to fit the size and resolution of the screens used to view them, creates a positive user experience whether users access the website using a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC.
Responsive websites use media queries to detect the size and resolution of the device being used to access them. Unlike previous web design, which featured a single webpage layout designed to fit a PC screen, or the original mobile website designs, which featured two complete sites, a standard one and one optimized for a mobile screen, responsive web design features pages laid out on fluid grids that adjust to a variety of screen sizes. That way, a single page can provide viewers with the best experience for their device. Working with HTML5, a new type of formatting language, web designers can embed videos, audio, and other multimedia content right into the website’s code so users can view them on mobile devices without the need for plugins or added software. Designers can even choose the way specific files load and cache, so users can reload the page from the cache even when off-line, giving them access to the website whenever they want.
Making the switch to responsive web design will leave your business much better equipped to deal with the digital demands of today’s consumers. Be aware that designing websites for mobile devices is not a simple process; adopting this new technology requires strict attention to details to ensure you have incorporated all the needed elements for the best mobile experience. Use the following HTML5 Responsive Web Design checklist to make sure your responsive web design is fully ready to launch:
- Are buttons and other interaction areas positioned so they will be convenient to use on a touch screen?
Remember, users will be using their thumbs on mobile devices. If buttons and links are too small or inconveniently placed at the edge of pages, users may not be able to access them. Best practices suggest that you make your site completely accessible using only touch.
- Does your site feature easy navigation across all devices and browsers?
Check your site across a number of different devices, using various browsers to make certain users can easily move throughout your site. Drop-down menus do not work well on mobile devices; large, easy to tap elements and hidden swing-style navigation are well suited for mobile devices.
- Are all images and content compressed so mobile users are not stuck downloading huge files?
Mobile users will quickly abandon sites that take a long time to load, so it is best to use images sparingly and compress them as much as possible.
- Is all of the type easy to read?
Fancier, more decorative fonts are often illegible on mobile. Stay away from any font that becomes hard to read on smaller devices.
- Is your site optimized for mobile searches?
Mobile searches are more conversational than traditional typed desktop searches. Adjust your keyword selections to include conversational phrases and longer keywords for best search performance. Remember to apply SEO optimization to your whole site, including ALT tags on your images.
Make sure your business keeps pace with the mobile revolution by switching to responsive web design today! The web designers at Blue Interactive Agency can create an expertly designed HTML5 website for your business that features responsive web design, SEO optimization, and interactive marketing strategies to ensure your business is perfectly positioned for a successful future.
Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for a responsive website design that will make your website the go-to destination on every device and platform!