There are many devices that are designed to access the website. It’s very important to design digital experiences that are compatible with multiple devices, browsers, operating systems and must be visually appealing. It helps expand your audience, improves your SEO, and reduces web development hours spent on customization. In 2010, Google started prioritizing “mobile-first” digital design. Five years later, the Mobilegeddon Google algorithm update had a huge effect on search results. The update was meant to boost rankings and organic visibility for websites that were mobile-friendly.
Understanding Responsive Web Design
As more gadgets were released, web developers were challenged with creating numerous website versions for new screens and browsers. This resulted in an impossible burden on developers to create numerous custom-made products for every new device and category of users. Responsive web design was the answer.
Responsive web design is an approach to web development that utilizes a flexible design that can adapt to various platforms, orientations, and screens, whether they be mobile phones or large television screens. Essentially, the purpose of responsive web design is to have one website that is usable across the device landscape.
It utilizes cascading style sheets (CSS), among other technologies, to create designs with flexible layouts that can expand and shrink without affecting usability. For example, if the user switches from an Android phone to a Mac laptop, the site will adjust to the changed resolution and capabilities of the browser. Also, responsive web design seeks to create adaptive web products that will recognize user settings and preferences.
The responsive web design challenged the web developers to completely rethink digital design. Antiquated versions of HTML, the original scripting language that brought colour and usability to the WWW, were overly restrictive and inadequate for fully adapting to a new digital world.
Below we discuss a few core requirements for responsive web design:
1. Acclimates to different screens
With more devices with different screen resolutions, orientations, and colour spectrums, responsive web design practices can help web developers in implementing adaptive design techniques. Increasingly, web sites are tasked with adjusting flexibly between mobile phones and desktop screens. Responsive web design uses flexible design strategies, often with CSS, to enable sites to adjust to both small and large devices. With mobile phones and tablets, websites also need to easily adapt to both a landscape and portrait orientation while maintaining usability.
However, using responsive web design strategies for different screens isn’t limited to adaptive sizing. It should also consider functionality. Obviously, a small smartphone screen would be burdened with overwhelming options. On the other hand, you want easy access to options on a larger screen. Responsive web design not only adjust to screen size and resolution, but it also adapts the functionality to the device.
2. Adaptable images
The image resolution is a hassle for web developers. If images are optimized too small, their low quality will be obvious on big screens. If images are too large, they will slow down a website. Responsive web design uses creative CSS design elements to both limits the required use of images to create visually stunning layouts and to adapt images to varying screen resolutions without increasing load time.
Good website usability requires adaptation to the capabilities of the device. Usability should always consider accessibility. Not all your users can read tiny text on small screens. Not all your users can see or hear. Usability also takes into account the struggles that segments of your audience will experience trying to consume media on different devices.
Browser and device incompatibility with web technologies has improved over time. Increasingly we can rely on different browsers and operating systems reading code and markup in similar ways. However, incompatibility across preferences, systems, and settings remains a challenge for web developers today. Ensuring your web products will work on different operating system versions and browser applications are essential to reaching the widest audience.
There is no denying the fact that we are in a new age of digital design. With the increasing functionality of devices and the multitude of options available in the market, digital products need to be flexible, adaptable, and compatible. If your tech team isn’t up to date with responsive design, or if you’re considering choosing to partner with a digital agency make sure they are skilled in designing responsive experiences!