Responsive Web Designing: 7 Points To Ponder Over

What do you feel if you are unable to access a website from a Smartphone? Obviously frustrated. It’s not just you; there are millions and billions of others across the globe having the same problem. To help these frustrated users, responsive web designing is the latest approach that designers are following to create user-friendly websites regardless of the device they are using. Many owners of old websites are also thinking about revamping their web look to make that responsive to the mobile devices.

In the lines below, few tips will be discussed to help web designers learn what to consider while designing responsive websites.

Designing For Mobile: The First Thought

Starting a web design with Mobile First approach means covering all the aspects that make a website look good at small screens of mobile phones. It also lets the designer think about what’s not suitable for a website to appear as per Smartphone user’s expectations. Such websites are also capable to appear smoothly on desktops.

The mobile first approach forces designers to think about including the essential content only and making web pages load faster at the screens of the users. However, responsive web designing approach is still challenging and web designers have to think creatively to build lean and adaptive websites.

Content: Tailored For Mobile Devices

The main thing to be considered at a responsive web design is to present the essential content only. The content should be readable and should be accessible on any kind of mobile device. The content of user interest should be there at a responsive website to avoid any hassle at the users’ end and to let the users access the most needed content on a website.

Sketching And Prototyping: Be Organized

After deciding about the content strategy, the next thing to worry about is sketching and prototyping. Sketching helps in making an organized layout of the website, which looks appealing to the site visitors. As there are more devices to make designs for, so there should be more layout options to choose from. It also allows you to refine the rough ideas and to lay foundation for the later stages of designing. It also minimizes the number of wasting work hours to be billed while creating mock-ups. The main objective of sketching should be content adaptability, not the space available over the website. Many online resources are available to help sketching.

After sketching, the next thing is prototyping. It’s basically simple HTML layout. The main objective of prototype is to know whether the things go well in specified context. The focus is usually on structure and content. It’s up to you whether you want to start from prototype using different frameworks, or start from nick.

You may also need a pattern library consisting of baseline elements at the start-up, which can be customized later on. Such a library is good for teams working in close collaboration. It can be used as a base to build responsive websites.

Frameworks: Consider The Benefits

Every framework has its own benefits. If you choose CSS framework, you will witness speedy development process, less browser compatibility issues, a structured design, less testing, all are the essential ingredients for responsive web designs. While choosing a framework, consider the following points:

  • Learning required
  • Available documentation
  • Available support
  • Features offered

Explore the CSS tools to get maximum out of the framework to solve all the problems of web design and development.

Breakpoints: Base On Screen Sizes

The main idea of responsive web designing lies in flexibility and adaptability, but that couldn’t be achieved fully from specific design resolution. As content is the focal point at a website, so the break points should be adjusted accordingly. The content breakdown should be natural. It’s also obvious that for each new device, the same breakdown can’t practically work, but the benefit of breakpoints approach is you don’t have to worry about the issue of media queries for new devices.

Images: Make Them Scalable

Dealing with images seems quite problematic, as these require a perfect fit for text size as well as viewpoint. Web designers are just following the trial and error approach to use images in the right manner.

There is huge demand of retina display having high pixel densities. For that purpose, images need to be well optimized. CSS Sprites is the right option for responsive retina images. It reduces the file size of stylesheets and the network requests. It’s also efficient in creating retina assets. You can use Icon Fonts to remove any unnecessary images, hence making the ultimate website lightweight.

Minification: For Performance Optimization

If you use more images, JavaScript, libraries, or CSS, all it will take more time to load onto the screens of the users, which means poorly optimized performance. The process of minification involves making the source code free from any unnecessary characters. These characters usually appear as white space, line breaks, or tabs, so when removed don’t affect the operational aspects of the code.

There are tools available to minify both JavaScript and CSS like minify, Squishlt, CSSTidy, etc. The selected tool must be a best fit for your code and the workflow. You can also combine JavaScript and CSS files, which will reduce the HTTP requests. Although, it’s a hectic thing to do for varied page scripts, but improves upon the overall response time. The main thing is to reduce the load time of a website, which is quite disturbing for the site visitors and affects greatly the conversions.

Creating a responsive web design isn’t tough; the only important thing is web designers should incorporate this approach throughout the designing process. The ease of the end users accessing websites through mobile devices should be considered so that a business could get the desired ROI.

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Emma Jones has written this post while considering the significance of responsive web designing as an unavoidable approach for any web design agency