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Responsive Design Tips for Website Developers

In order to prevent an expensive and laborious redesign process, it is essential to make the design responsive right away. More people are using mobile to accesses websites. With this being said, it is vital to design websites that adapt themselves to multiple platforms with variable screen dimensions to give the user a dynamic feel.

It is important to deliver a speedy, practical, and compatible experience to mobile users. The key is to focus on the overall performance from the very beginning of the design.

Issues at Sketch Phase

To deal with initial sketching issues, a developer can sketch a responsive design for all web pages and apply it to the most accepted tablet and mobile screen dimension. Involving a client in the design phase to share information regarding re-flow of design on devices can help the developer. This aids in the confusing stage of prototyping design elements, their organization, and reorganization based on variable device dimensions. (1)

Content Quality

This applies to any website and whatever device is used to view it. Users are looking for valuable content. Keyword stuffing and cross linking pages is a thing of the past, since search engine spiders have become smarter in deciding which websites have useful and valuable content. It is important to focus on the quality of content and check how users are going to access the content in the prescribed design format. Content should be flexible so that it can adjust according to the device. (2)

User Friendly Navigation Tools

With different levels of complexity in websites, it can be difficult for users to navigate smoothly across web pages. Studying the levels that data is presented in a website and the value of that particular website for a buyer helps a designer in making user friendly navigation options. This can be further cross-checked across physical devices to check user experience in relation to navigation. (3)

Flexible Images and Responsive Tables

It is essential that developers postpon the load time of images that do not fall in direct view range of a user to make sure graphics on a high pixel compact device do not get blurred and in-congruently scaled. This helps optimize the browser. Designing images that can accommodate changes in screen dimension improvements user experience without compromising on visual quality. (4)

Similarly, making smaller tables can be replaced by pie charts. Using limited content and colorful tables, instead of columns with limited horizontal scrolling, prevents tables from appearing complex and puzzling over a mobile device.

No Compromise on Information

Complicated websites with sophisticated search options, huge data sequences, layered forms and tables, and control panels with third party information involves too much information load for a smaller device. Users do not like to compromise on information content just because the device is mobile. Information on a mobile website should never be reduced to mobile size because this might lead to user frustration. Thorough optimization is possible by setting priorities and removing undesired redundant elements. For example, navigation option off-screen or different content area that appears in a new window section and providing link to the full site on mobile version.

Faster Load Time

Load time of websites over a mobile device can be enhanced by mounting conditional loading of only specific information. The focus should be on enabling the loading of content first, followed by graphics, and then other aspects of the website. Only specific components that are critical in conveying the message should be kept. Conditional loading enables future modification of the site with great ease, as various options for scalability and image caching are used.

Self-Advance

A responsive site has to depict robust functionality and intricate design components across multiple devices. With that being said, the design process, development cycle, and testing process is a long journey. Allowed a responsive design to advance and evolve on its own in a gradual manner is a suitable option compared to doing a complicated revision and revamping process.

Polyfil Plugin for Older Versions of Internet Explorer (IE)

In order to ensure that older versions of Internet Explorer browsers display efficiently, developers should modify page layouts based on screen size through JavaScript, and use the polyfiller plugin that provides the facilities not built into the browser. A polyfil code provides the technology that a developer expects a browser to provide locally. For example, web pages can utilize HTML 5 for versions of IE older than 8/9 which does not support HTML 5 by installing a polyfil. (7)

Conclusion

It is essential to express the benefits of a responsive design to clients to initiate this type of development process. Making a client understand that a responsive design is more interactive and useful to its multi-device functionality and availability across a greater customer base. It can reduce the cost of redesign and modification in the future.

Emphasis of the designer should be to enable a responsive design in order to appeal to the audience base and enhance user experience for a greater advantage.

References

2 Bleiel, Nicky. "Making content flexible with responsive design." July 2014. TC World Website. 27 January 2015

5 Fernanado, Divi. "Responsive vs Adaptive Design: What Fits Better Your Needs?" 24 November 2014. WooRank Website. 27 January 2015

(1,3,4,7) Strelchenko, Kirill. "10 Responsive Design Problems and Fixes." 13 November 2014. UX Magazine. 27 January 2015

6 Thomas, Jacqueline. "10 Tips to Get You Started with Responsive Design." 12 August 2014. UX Movement Website. 27 January 2015