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Responsive web design is the subject that caught every marketer, business owner, or web designer since it’s the first introduction. In simple terms, RWD is an approach that makes a website accessible from all kinds of devices.
It’s widely known that there are more and more people accessing the internet using mobile devices instead of desktops. If you’re wondering about the numbers, then here it is. There are almost 7 billion mobile users in the world due to the booming of smartphones and e-commerce. Additionally, 40% of them confirm prior online purchases rather than physical. While more than 55% of shoppers said that they often search for products online and buy from e-commerce sites. That’s why the market is getting so attractive no business owner should ignore it.
Therefore, we can see clearly that brands that opt for responsive websites are getting more advantages than ones that don’t. Some businesses just don’t care about the accessibilities of their customers. And let us tell you, that’s a massive mistake. Accessing an unoptimized website design on your phone is a highly frustrating experience that no one wants.
RWD is no longer a choice, it’s a must-have investment when making a business out of anything. Maximize user experience and you maximize your conversion rate as well.
Without any further ado, we’ll get you right to the cheat code for a responsive website. These are all the basics for businesses to start to upgrade their website and attract more customers.
This term refers to websites that can be accessed on any device, from desktops, tablets to smartphones. Having a responsive design means all your site content is adjustable to multiple screen sizes and browsing conditions. All of that adhere the following principles:
- Fluid content grids were all sizes and shapes on your site change depending on the user’s screen dimension.
- Media queries depend on how many elements a display allows at once.
- Flexible imagery that allows a website to respond differently to each screen width.
Before having a responsive website, we have to make separate versions for some of the most widely used screen sizes. This means those who weren’t supported will have different (sometimes annoying) experiences. However, now with so many screen sizes of phones, tablets, and other devices, responsive design is much more ideal. It makes sure anyone can scroll through your webpage with a seamless, consistent experience.
As your website is viewable from multiple devices, it’s much easier for your audiences to engage and purchase. No matter where or how they browse, the experience is still the same quality. We’ll show you the benefits right below, but first, let’s see what not using the responsive web will cost you. 90% of shoppers said that they would leave the site if they have a poor experience on the site. Meanwhile, their priority when scrolling a webpage is its speed and accessibility. As most of your customers use mobile devices nowadays, if not opting for responsive design, you are losing a lot more money than you think.
Now let’s unpack all the advantages you would have when choosing RWD:
Did you know that 63% of Google users are mainly using mobile devices? And Google themselves also prioritize websites with responsive design. Therefore sites without RWD’s SEO will decrease in rankings, and it affects business heavily by all means. Without RWD, it will be much harder for customers to find you online. By losing that advantage, the number of users getting to your page and purchase will also get smaller over time.
Knowing that it’s never too late to start creating a mobile-friendly website. Don’t let just one little thing ruin your tons of effort with the business.
Both Google and your users expect an instant, high-quality experience. With users, of course, no one wants to wait minutes for a site to be fully loaded then realize it’s not optimized for mobile usage. With Google, the quicker your page can load, and how mobile-friendly it is are factors that determine your rankings. Research has shown that bounce rates on mobile devices are around 40%. Meanwhile, a webpage that takes less than 5 seconds to load has 70% longer viewing sessions.
As all of those expectations can be completed with ease through RWD, why not using it?
It’s 2021, everyone wants a quick and convenient experience online since there are so many digital noises that get them distracted. And since customers are spending most of their time online, they’d appreciate brands that provide a better experience. 57% of consumers stated that they won’t recommend a business with a non-mobile-friendly website. And as consumers experience terrible website interfaces, they’ll begin to have negative thoughts about that business. Having responsive website design can bring joy to your customers, encourage them to buy, and imprint a positive impression. Based on that, you’ll have a higher chance to be recommended, or re-purchased.
And last but not least, although it is definitely an investment, RWD also saves you a lot. Instead of having a separate version of your website (which costs much more), yet not ensuring the overall experience, you can have RWD. Since it’s one single adaptive design, you only have to pay once, and use that resources for other important parts of your business. Less hassle, much more effective, and we haven’t needed to mention the impacts on sales yet!
Here are some quick ways to see if a website is responsive or not. You won’t need any sophisticated tools or applications, just your normal Google Chrome browser shall be fine.
- Go to your website
- Press Ctrl + Shift + I to open Chrome DevTools
- Press Ctrl + Shift + M to toggle the device toolbar
- View your page from a mobile, tablet, or desktop perspective
Or you can use a free tool like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check as well. By then you can see clearly if your site is adaptive or responsive and make adjustments when needed. But based on overall convenience and effectiveness, we would recommend choosing RWD over anything else.
Sure you can leave them all up to your website agency or developers. But when uploading new content or visuals, that part is quite up to you. After all, it’s all for the well-being of your user experience. Now it’s time we turn all those information into reality so you can apply them to your website instantly. Here are all the changes you should make to have a responsive web design.
The first thing to do with any website design is its layout. Picturing the whole thing will give you a better vision of what needs to be done, then later steps will be much easier. You can start with envisioning your layout with a 1x1 aspect ratio without thinking about responsiveness. After that, add media queries and conditions to your CSS to help to turn your layout into a responsive one.
Most mobile browsers default to a full view of websites, which usually relies on the zoom feature for navigation.
The clickable element is a crucial part of every website. You’d want your customers to take action through call-to-action (CTA) buttons, which keep users engaged with your webpage. However, not many have their attention on the differences between the placement of these buttons on desktop versus phone. With desktop design, you’ll have much more space and smaller buttons are not a problem. However, when moving to the mobile device, we only use fingers to navigate, so this button shall be adjusted for more comfortable clicks. Therefore, always keep your buttons at least 48 pixels in height, and your visitors would be thankful for that.
When creating icons or graphics for your website, you should make sure their format is scalable vector graphics (SVGs). Unlike JPG or PNG, SVG can be scalable into many different sizes, so you won’t have to worry about it looking weird on users’ screens. By formatting your illustration this way, you can ensure your site load faster, and provide a high-quality experience to visitors.
Don’t forget about images, they must be scalable, too. While using one large resolution image can slow down the loading time, you can upload different resolutions. Later then, you can always design which image to display on each device by assigning different media tags to sources in your website code. By using the correct media queries, you can output the appropriate content depending on your visitor’s viewing conditions. Yes, it’s a little more effort, but it can improve your loading speed and save you from losing potential customers, so it’s all worth it.
Since you are working with mobile devices, remember to compress your images. This will enhance your load time, and ensure users can get access even with a limited data plan on their phones.
Precise font usage is important with responsive web design since reading on a laptop is much different from on a 6 inches smartphone. And if your users can’t read, they certainly won’t engage or buy anything from you. So while the font can look incredible on one screen, it can be terrible on another. That’s why choosing font and size shall be made after meticulously inspecting, so don’t be afraid of testing and fixing things up. Here are some of our notice you can use:
- 16pt body type is a must for desktop and mobile web content.
- Avoid thin fonts that nearly disappear on smaller screens.
- Make sure all headings are clearly larger than the body and subheading content.
- Use contrasting colors for your typography.
Through CSS, you can set your font sizes to percentages just like with images. Use this feature to display your text appropriately depending on the screen size.
Using different call-to-action on different platforms will bring out better results. As you can see, while people are using their laptops or PCs, placing a CTA to “Chat now!” would be perfectly relevant. However, you can’t tell your customers to call you instantly, right? But with the mobile device, placing a CTA button telling people to call you will work better. You can also take advantage of CTA buttons to prompt users to download your application or more.
Notice which to display on each platform and design your content, buttons, and everything to match. That’s when you can truly maximize the seamless experience for your consumers.
7. Test your website often.
Just like any product or communication channel, your website should be tested often on different devices and browsers. Usual testing will help you to realize any problems early and adjust immediately to ensure the site’s performance.
Also, don’t forget to consider your target audience and their preferred access method. This should apply to both your layout and your navigation experience.
This is an honest suggestion for business owners. Not every one of you is experienced in website design, so it’ll take a lot of time to work on your own. But we understand that you don’t want to hire a web designer at full cost as well. So if you find things too sophisticated, just outsource to a freelancer or an agency to make the things done. You can always have overall control over your website but it takes much less time. Your effort can be put into your products or branding process instead.
With all the above information, we believe that you’ve already had a clear vision of responsive web design. The only thing left is to begin to make it happen. Don’t hesitate or procrastinate on this, since it determines the overall effectiveness of your website. If you’ve just started, then opting for RWD is always a great choice.