Everybody is riding the “responsive website design” wave. We all want it because we all understand the implications it has for our businesses. However, just as it’s important to take the idea on board, it’s also vital to understand what can go wrong with it. Let’s have a look at a few mistakes in responsive website design that could potentially cause far more damage than good-watch out for them!
Not considering the “mobile-first” version: The thought process involved in creating a responsive website design still follows a desktop-smartphone-tablet pattern. In other words, the design is built for a desktop, with features adaptable to the other devices. However, if a website is built for a mobile version first, then scaling it up to reach a robust desktop experience is an easier job than the other way around because all possible issues on a smaller screen have already been preempted and accounted for in this case.
Not doing enough for the Touch screen experience: With an ever-increasing number of touch screen devices being used now, it is crucial that elements such as friendly navigation, large, bold, visible buttons and intuitive layouts be addressed. The general consensus on the size for these buttons is equivalent to a thumb. If the fonts and buttons used in the responsive design are unclear on a smartphone, for example, the user could get frustrated very quickly and decide to move on to a competitor’s website.
Design compromise: Responsive website designs are meant to offer a smooth user experience. But that does not mean they have to look drab. In keeping with the modern “less is more” theory, beautiful responsive designs can be created while making efficient use of space. In short, creativity needn’t be compromised at the altar of functionality.
Not paying enough importance to loading speeds: While broadband allows us to access desktop websites at lightning-fast speeds, many users on mobiles still have 2g or 3g connections. This causes a considerable difference in the amount of time it takes for web pages to load on their devices. Not optimizing graphics and media to the maximum extent possible, or making the mistake of having a cluttered code in the responsive design is likely to cause a lot of negative impact.
Hiding content to fit into smaller devices: While on the face of it, it may be natural to assume that in responsive design, content would need to be hidden so as to fit the small screen sizes of mobile devices; this practice can become a huge pitfall to the business. This is because although certain images and textual content may not be visible to the user, they are still getting loaded and using the bandwidth, thus resulting in slower speeds. This can become a real pain point for users, as they are bound to abandon the website if browsing isn’t a seamless, enjoyable experience for them. There is also another unpleasant effect of hiding content-namely, affecting the SEO performance of the website. Because search engines are able to detect sections of missing content, such websites tend to be perceived as offering lower-value content to users, directly causing a lowering in their rankings.