By now, you might have heard about responsive web design, responsive website and responsive development. But are you aware what actually led to responsive web design? At the center of web design today is mobile technology.
Mobile users have grown exponentially. Reports state that there will be 2 billion smartphone users by 2015 and 83% of internet usage from mobiles. So the mobile experience of viewing, searching, purchasing can be a huge boom or bust for a site. Because of this growth in mobile usage, it makes perfect sense that mobile design should be a focus of web design.
Mobile first! Smart phone usage and Mobile web design
The approach to displaying a site on mobile devices is quite different than that of a desktop view. Present web designers have a job that focuses on not only making an aesthetically pleasing and intuitive site, but for mobile devices they must shift to not only being intuitive and aesthetically pleasing, but also incredibly responsive.
Responsive web design can stretch the needs of a site’s functionality across different platforms from mobile to desktop. HTML5, CSS3, and web fonts have had a very positive effect on the design capabilities of a site and its ability to scale and adapt to any screen size. That’s what we call responsive web design. However, all of this design also needs to follow other design principles such as font size, layout best practices, and space usage.
Web Design approach towards Mobile
Depending on the type of business site and their priorities, mobile based web design can vary from project-to-project. Displaying content is the key in a mobile site (although after that needs can branch). Therefore, displaying information within the limits of screen size and still delivering the most relevant information sought by a user is the goal. Here are a few approaches to make web design aligned for mobile:
- Usability considerations are crucial while focusing web design for mobile usage. Design and layout should be planned keeping in mind the space constraint and visitors who need in depth information without much effort. Thus the rule is less is more! CSS3 offers a set of tools for creating gradients, drop-shadows, and rounded corners to avoid resorting to bulky images etc. Doing away with fancy menus, sliders, flashy animations to avoid the clutter is suggested.
- Small file size and low load times are good for swift functionality of a mobile site. This will help in loading the site fast irrespective of the speed of internet connectivity.
- Links, menus should be made tappable instead of putting them clickable. This means for mobile web design, buttons should be designed bigger for easy tapping and going to the link.
- Single Column Layouts work great to display more in limited space. It has the merit to easily scale between different device resolutions and hence the effort of mobile web design accomplished.
Few other considerations such as virtual hierarchy, making simple design to reduce bouncing rates from sites, design to make users inquisitive and effective writing can pave the way for effective mobile web design.
By Todd Swoope
Todd is the the Head Marketing Strategist for Snyxius Technologies. From the mountains of Pennsylvania to the city of Austin, He’s is always up for a marketing challenge. His interests include witty wordplay, hot cups of tea, and chocolate chip cookies.