Responsive Web Design is sweeping the online world and making it easier for users to get access to Internet sites, whether they’re using their desktop computers or mobile devices. While most web design trends often gain popularity overnight and quickly fade to obscurity, RWD clearly is here to stay.
As web developers continue to refine their techniques and create new approaches, RWD promises to become a popular solution for those wanting to deliver holistic design for the mobile ecosystem. With that said, here are 7 ways that responsive web design is evolving and becoming the designing way of the future.
Setting a New Trend
As the sizes of computers and mobile devices shrink every day, developers have felt the need to create a responsive design that’ll help them develop a website for all display sizes. Being that not all websites work on all devices, it’s becoming more important to create a consistent user experience for all kinds of users – no matter how they’re accessing the online site.
Although RWD is time consuming and needs proper planning, it definitely benefits both developers and users alike in the long-term. Being that responsive design doesn’t need too many redirects or different websites, updates are easy to develop because you only need one for all formats. Also, visuals stay the same no matter the size, which helps in building brand identity and credibility.
Not Like Mobile Design
RWD is a form of web design in its entirety, and people shouldn’t confuse it with mobile design. Responsive sites can be viewed from a mobile device with resolutions of 1920 x 1080, 800 x 600, and 1024 x 768 pixels. However, using responsive design strictly for mobile devices isn’t the only way to take advantage of its benefits.
Being that developers and designers feel that shrinking visuals are more of a challenge than expanding ones, it's always better to start designing a site with a mobile device in mind and then expand to other sizes of devices.
If you want to take credit for good responsive design, remember to remain flexible. If your photos, typefaces, or grids aren’t flexible enough for the users, your site won’t cater to their needs. An easy way around this is to hide certain content and images on a mobile website, or alternatively decide on the simplest layout so that the website maintains its uniform look on all devices.
Increasing Use of the Grid Principle
The best responsive designs online are based on a grid. Every website is proportionately divided with each number on the scale known as a grid stop. Most grids are found in three different widths of the Internet browser including 320 x 480 pixels, 480 x 768 pixels, and 760 pixels or more. You can also include additional Internet browser widths to support monitors bigger than 1000 pixels.
Many developers use the fluid grid to cover the screen space that’s left over. Another popular option is taking advantage of fluid break points, which help improve the overall design of the website.
Image Quality and Size
No matter the size of it, a poor image will always be considered a low quality picture. Image quality is important in determining how long a website may take to load. Being that mobile users need every bit of speed they can get to move around the Internet, it’s important to optimize images before using them and striking a balance between quality and size.
In RWD, you should crop and reduce the size of images to the smallest extent without losing visual quality. For a responsive layout, it's important to limit the number of images used. Also, you should always use a mobile framework, multiple file sizes and versions, and a mobile environment that allows you to hide images as you see fit.
Although a 24-point Helvetica could very well be the best option on a desktop computer, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll prove to be the best choice on a mobile device. No matter whether a user is using a dial-up or, something like a fast Verizon Internet connection, readability is vital to the user experience when browsing online.
If the users’ eyes aren’t able to handle what they see, then they’ll skip over your website and move to the next. Optimize typefaces for different screen sizes, such as 50-75 characters for desktops and 35-50 for mobile devices.
Search Engine Optimization
A responsive design always helps in increasing search engine optimization. This helps make your website more visible to more people across the Internet and enhances your brand and sales. Being that a RWD is common with a unique URL, link building is easy and simple; advertising campaigns and redirects all point to a common location. Analytics is also easier with a single RWD.
Responsive Web Design is the future of how people will see and use the Internet. What methods do you think will be most beneficial to designers and users alike?