Responsive web design is a fairly recent trend, but the general concept has existed since the dawn of mobile phones. Simply put, companies realized very early on that their customers and website visitors needed a unique form of their corporate website when accessing it from a mobile device. As mobile data usage increased and tablets hit the market, the bulk of the world’s top companies started investing in websites that could resize themselves to the dimensions of the visitor’s device.
Today, most companies have websites that are at least partially responsive. From titans like Apple on down to local businesses, it’s readily apparent that the world is starting to view responsive design as a requirement as opposed to just a feature. To top it all off, responsive design isn’t just a visual matter; in 2015, Google began using a site’s “mobile friendliness” as a factor in SERP rankings. A responsive website doesn’t just look great; it can have very tangible results on the efficacy of your inbound marketing.
It can be something of an undertaking to make a site responsive, but the process will go very smoothly so long as a proper amount of planning and consideration is done.
Responsive Design Factors to Consider
What Content Will Scale Well?
As the design takes shape, decisions will have to be made about what content scales with the page. The Next Web notes that visitors to your mobile site may be looking for different information than visitors to your desktop site. In their example, they float the thought that mobile visitors to a restaurant site may be looking for directions to the restaurant, or reviews. Thus, it’s recommend that you evaluate what content or information your mobile visitors may be looking for, whether it’s contact information or just general information.
Think About File Size
Responsive design also has to pay attention to overall page file size. Desktop visitors are most likely working on an established internet connection, so it’s no trouble for them to download a bunch of images and/or graphic design elements; for mobile users, these large files pose much more of a problem. Consider making your mobile site as “file-light” as possible so that can load faster on unreliable mobile connections.
Mobile-First Can Be An Option
When designing the initial outline of a site, some companies elect to use a mobile-first approach to the process. In some cases, it can be easier to go from “small to big” when creating a website. Furthermore, a mobile-first design policy can put the more complicated work of mobile design at the forefront of the design process, which means your team could have less to do once they start creating the desktop version of the site.
It should be noted that a complete site redesign isn’t necessarily required in order to make it responsive; that being said, many companies may find it significantly easier to build a new site from the ground up as opposed to trying to make their current site responsive.
As with all design projects, it’s also prudent to speak with all of the teams that will be affected by a site redesign, including marketing, sales, IT, and potentially HR. Every team needs to feel as if they are going to get what they need from the new site.
Test, Test, Test
Lastly, all good responsive design is thoroughly tested on many different devices. The QA process for rendering a site on an iPhone 6 is one thing; it’s another beast entirely to ensure that the site loads and displays properly on potentially dozens of different devices.
Let Us Build Your Next Responsive Site
Envision is a full-service marketing agency. Our team of designers, copywriters, developers, and marketers have the skills and know-how to build the fully-responsive website your business needs. To talk with our team, give us a call at (512) 292-1049.