What the best responsive websites have in common

Posted by Mariana Morales on February 16, 2017 at 4:09 PM

In Responsive Design

Internet users today aren’t using just one standard screen size when they’re browsing. Not only do computers have different screen sizes, but your website viewers are likely often switching between desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phone. To keep your website updated, it must be able to adapt to every user’s different screen sizes. Mobile usage is on the rise, and you have to be ready to cater to mobile users as well as traditional desktop users.

There are many developers that do responsive web design well. Some websites are built on responsive templates, making the process of creating a responsive site easier, and other custom sites are built using responsive web design principles.

The best responsive sites, no matter how they are designed, all have one thing in common: they ultimately provide an excellent user experience.

 

Designer took the mobile first approach

The mobile first approach, used some of the best responsive websites, involves a web designer starting the website design with the mobile layout, and scaling up from there. In order to do this, content categories will be determined for the website. These categories will then be ranked in priority, so that mobile users are seeing top priority categories first and important information isn’t getting lost on the mobile site.

The design is then laid out in a smaller viewport, and other elements are built as the design expands out to larger and larger viewpoints - what is known as scaling up. This method of design is done for true scalability, and to ensure that nothing gets lost and potentially problematic issues in the design of the site aren’t discovered last minute.

 

Strategic placement of content

Content must be placed where the intended audience has the best view of it. The team behind the best websites took the time to pinpoint the target persona, so they know their intended audience especially well. The analysis of this target persona data is used to understand popular pages of the previous standard website. This allows the team to determine content from this strategic place to ensure the best user experience.

The best teams are not afraid to remove any “extras.” They stick only to what should be there, what is the top priority content, and “trim the fat” on mobile screens. Ultimately this makes the user experience better, and they’ll choose to spend more time on the mobile site.

 

Includes Scalable Navigation

The best responsive websites understand that what works on a larger screen will likely not break down well on a mobile screen. Specifically the website’s navigation menu. It doesn’t have to be consistent with your desktop website, and great responsive sites know that well. A really good web design team will understand how to prioritise and trim down on what the audience needs to see. As long as your navigation menu is user friendly, it doesn’t have to be an exact replica of your desktop site.

The key to the right navigation menu is consistency: don’t stray to a different font or colour or introduce new graphics. It doesn’t have to be an exact replica, but a similar design to your desktop navigation menu is necessary. The best responsive sites utilize a similar design, but understand the necessity of new functionality.

 

If you are questioning the quality of your mobile site design or are looking for a web development company that will put responsive web design first, connect with us below.

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