When it comes to website design, you’d have to be pretty wet behind the ears not to know that these days you need more than one version of your website. These days more people view websites on phones and tablets than they do on laptops or desktops. That is an important shift in the landscape, and one that website designers and anyone who owns a website must take into account if they want the website to be functional and attractive.
There is another word for this quality – responsiveness. Peak Design, experts in Attorney website design, define responsive website design as web design that doesn’t just consider laptops and websites alike, but which considers all the different kinds of smartphones and computers. Not all these display internet pages in the same way. There is variation in screen dimension, screen resolution, and the means by which the user manipulates the website through their device. Think about the difference between viewing a website on a smartphone and viewing it on a laptop.
What is Responsive Website Design?
Haven’t we just answered that? Well, there is a bit more to it than just considering how a website looks on different devices. In fact, responsive website design is so called because it responds to the user’s behavior. That behavior is, of course, determined in part by what device they are using (a laptop user will interact differently than a smartphone user), but it is determined by other factors too.
Things can get quite technical where responsive website design is concerned. When researching it, you might have to deal with the scripting ability of different devices or the VPNs that certain users use. In this latter case, you might find that websites get blocked on certain devices (or in certain places) when they shouldn’t be.
The best way to think about it is this: every user has a set of preferences, either that they have selected themselves or by virtue of the device they are using. And responsive website design needs to respond to all of these in a way that presents the website properly.
A good example would be a user with night mode turned on in their browser. A truly responsive website design would be just as legible and easy to navigate, whether night mode is turned on or off.
Tips for Responsive Website Design
Responsive website design is a discipline and a vast area of expertise. For many website owners or companies, it is something they outsource to the professionals. For that reason, there isn’t space here to give a comprehensive guide (it also depends very much on what type of website), but we can certainly outline the most important principles. Or, more accurately, principle (singular).
“Flexible everything” should become your mantra if you want to master responsive website design. The most basic flexible elements of a website are the layout columns and the text; these can usually present well on all devices. This becomes a bit more complicated when images come into play. An image could sit beside the text on computer screen, but crudely break it up on a smartphone.
The best advice is to prioritize fluid grids and fluid layouts, which are website elements that organize the website content rather than being the content itself. Most website builders have a rudimentary form of this built in, and it is over to the professionals for the more detailed work.
As with so much in web design, the professionals will be required sooner rather than later. The main take-away, therefore, is to prioritize a responsive web design – you neglect it at your website’s peril.