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5 Biggest Mistakes You Must Avoid While Designing A Responsive Website

February 6, 2021 |
UI Design, Web Design

Almost half of the total web traffic worldwide originates from mobile devices. Which means, if you don’t design your websites to be mobile-friendly or Responsive, you’ll most likely lose out on a large piece of your target audience. Moreover, if you want to improve your SEO, you simply can’t ignore smartphones in today’s time. Not to forget, Google now gives priority to mobiles with mobile-first indexing.

All of the above factors demand a responsive web design, under which your website’s elements can automatically adjust according to the screen resolutions. To err is human; it is common to make mistakes while creating your responsive design. In this article, we would help you to avoid mistakes. We’ve collated a list of some possible responsive design mistakes and their solutions.

Concentrating Just On Device Sizes For Breakpoints

According to a study, there were 24,000+ different Android devices in 2015; this number has substantially increased in the past five years. The speed growth speed of mobile devices is projected to keep multiplying in the coming years. Since there are so many types of devices, the screen dimensions differ too much. You need to get your breakpoints right for your website to offer a seamless browsing experience across all devices.  

Your website may not appear right on newer devices if you concentrate on just device size breakpoints in your responsive design. You must not restrict yourself to the dimensions of current devices, in term of breakpoints. Rather, go for truly responsive designs that can adjust well on any screen size. 

One of the better ways is to take up the mobile-first approach, in which you create your website for the smallest screens and then scale it to larger screen sizes gradually. If wearable devices are pivotal for your website, you should start your designing with those instead. 

As you scale up, your website design may start feeling strained. In this situation, you can add media queries to it to make necessary changes. This step will ensure that your design is comfortable at each step; continue this process till you reach the most enormous screen sizes. 

It would be up to 2800 pixels in an ideal scenario since most users have resolutions lower than 2800 pixels. This method ensures that your breakpoints are introduced only when required and not based on the device size. This will help you offer a seamless browsing experience to all your visitors, irrespective of the device size. There are tools like LambdaTest or BrowserStack to check if your website renders well on new devices.

Not Optimizing Images And Videos

It is a fact that visual elements make your website more attractive to users. But, you must be careful while adding them to your website. The size of visual elements is typically larger than text files; they can slow down your page loading speed. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to check your current page loading speed and find possible solutions; For mobiles, use the Mobile Site Speed Tool from Google.

With an increase in your page loading time, your bounce rates also increase. According to a study, the bounce rates increased by 6% when a page takes 1.5 seconds more to load. Therefore, it is essential to optimize your images and videos to reduce their sizes. Tools like TinyPNG or Compress JPEG can help you with this. For WordPress, you can install the Smush plugin to compress your videos and images. 

Lessening your JavaScript, CSS, and HTML files can also help; also consider browser caching, which can increase page loading speed for repeat visitors. You should also remove all unnecessary third-party tools and JavaScript dependencies. 

Not Using Adaptive Image Management

The dimensions of an image are as important as the file size. Using images of various dimensions in a conventional website design may not be an issue. But, when it comes to responsive design, image mismanagement can be destructive for your user experience. After all, you don’t want your visitors looking at big images on a small screen.

To avoid this mistake, you should use adaptive image management techniques. Some of the methods to achieve this are as follows:

  • Resolution-based selection – different resolutions for the same image.
  • Device-pixel-ratio-based selection – reduce visible artifacts based on screen sizes to make the images appear crisp. 
  • Viewport-based selection – vary images based on devices used and their orientation.
  • Display-based cropping – change or crop the image based on the display to improve its viewing experience.

Hiding Content

The biggest mistake you can make while creating a responsive design of your website is hiding content. You may hide content to fit your website on a smaller screen, or maybe to increase the page loading speed; but, this must be avoided at all costs. People don’t expect a small sample of your website on mobiles; they want the exact same browsing experience as they get on desktops.

You should aim to offer them this omnichannel experience. The reason being, many of them might be accessing your website from multiple devices in a single day. So you must ensure to maintain consistency of content in your responsive design. You can prioritise the content differently across devices through progressive enhancement.

Consistent Navigation

Providing a consistent browsing experience to your visitors across all devices is pivotal. But, absolute consistency isn’t good either. It would be a big mistake if you try to keep consistent navigation across all screen sizes; because, when your screen size is reduced, a consistent navigation bar may end up covering half the screen. This will spoil the browsing experience of your visitors. You should consider shrinking the navigation according to the screen size; even changing to a hamburger menu. In addition to navigation, your button sizes and visual layouts should also not remain consistent. However, links, typefaces, and color treatments should be consistent. 

Wrap Up

If you wish to cater your entire target audience, you need to opt a responsive design. That said, you must be careful while implementing it and refer to the tips mentioned above to avoid all the possible pitfalls. Offer a consistent browsing experience across to your visitors across all devices. To know more, speak to our experts.

Read More about 4 important tips that developers should keep in mind while creating a responsive design. HERE

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