The dependency on our phones has continued to grow at a steady pace. With the share of Americans owning a smartphone now at 77%, the mobile revolution is here to stay. As more people browse on their phones out of convenience, mobile user experience can’t be ignored by businesses, and the responsive web design paradigm is what will get you there.
To ensure that your business website has the best user experience across all devices, you should know these key best practices for responsive web design.
Device Adaptability is Key
In 2017, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop internet usage, bringing a drastic shift in how businesses interact with customers. Mobile-friendly responsiveness is not only a necessity for businesses, but it’s also the first step to creating adaptable web pages that meet the demands of customers. True responsive web design must be adaptable and scalable to any size screen, from smartphones to tablets and desktops.
Device adaptability should apply to every site element, including images, headlines, and page width. According to a Digital Marketing Institute blog on web design trends to watch out for in 2018, businesses should embrace device adaptability as part of their responsive design best practices to improve user experience across all devices.
Speed is a Must
When getting into responsive web design, businesses must take into account the speed of their website. Since top marketing platforms like Google push for fast page speed as one of the best practices for responsive web design, it’s important to keep your pages lightweight. According to Website Hosting Rating, this means using smaller file sizes, using the fastest loading WordPress themes for WordPress-based websites and saving messages at medium-quality.
Up to 47% of people expect a web page to load up in less than two seconds. 40% of web users are likely to leave if it takes longer than that. Businesses must be increasingly aware that the web user’s attention span is growing smaller by the day, so ensuring that your website loads faster across all devices is a critical step if you want to increase your conversions.
Unlike other design elements like size, site navigation tends to change based on the device being used. Navigational elements like drop-down menus and hyperlinks become difficult to manipulate when using small screens. For effective web development, designers have to consider when the overall context of a device will require a change in design strategy.
This is where responsive web design comes in. Intuitive navigation must play to the devices strength while also staying intuitive for the device user behind the screen. Improving user experience through responsive web design involves structuring all website elements, including navigation, visuals and content in a way that provides a quality user experience.
A Mobile First Approach
Embracing a mobile-first approach to developing a successful website is the best approach to responsive design. Starting your website design with a mobile design approach that focuses on the small displays first is recommended. Mobility should be considered as a key strategy to enable the priorities you have in your business.
A Biz Journal article notes that adopting a mobile-first approach helps small businesses grow in a number of ways. With only the most pertinent elements making the cut in mobile design, businesses can plan better and create adaptable pages that contribute to a leaner and more organized page hierarchy that ensures a better user experience.
For the most complete responsive experience possible, web developers should work with business owners to re-evaluate the entire spectrum of how users interact with web pages and the devices they’re using. By auditing your existing website based on these responsive design practices, you’ll be able to determine if it’s really fit for the digital age we live in.