Responsive Website Design As A Mobile First Approach
Responsive website design structures are absolutely critical in this day and age of website development. With an ever increasing number of people in the UK now having access to portable devices such as a mobile smartphones and or tablet computers; its more important then ever to ensure your website is fully responsive and allows for a clean and comfortable user experience on the go.
Mobile first. UX Design – User Experience
The best practice in website design and develop is now with a ‘mobile first’ approach. This allows UX designers to create a design layout and structure that is created for mobile devices primarily and so provides a more natural native experience for users who browse on mobile and tablet devices.
The reason for this approach is that it takes a lot more thought in the design and layout process as there is far less screen real-estate to capitalise on and so all content, spacing and structural layout is considered to the smallest level meaning a designer must think more logically and decide between the importance of text, graphical content and any interactive elements and UI like navigation and other buttons.
UI Design – User Interface
Talking about UI design. The interface can’t simply be the same as on a desktop. A lot of sites will often just use the same menu and try and stuff it in somewhere or even have the tons of links simply hidden in a hamburger menu.
For users, browsing on a portable device, its good practice to deliver the best and most relevant content first and then perhaps allow of access to additional menus to less important pages.
A new approach that takes the best content forward even further and allows a user to easily see and navigate to relevant content; is by having an additional graphical menu on the site. This may link to only 3, 4 or 5 items, but should be the most important and most relevant items.
Quick shortcut buttons for mobile friendly websites
So these quick shortcut buttons work great for users who are trying to get to the correct pages instantly without first having to navigate a full menu. This works well for shopping carts and other instant access pages when browsing or shopping on a mobile phone as the necessary UI is very clear and obvious!
Desktop and laptops.
Its still true that people browse and make purchases on a desktop computer and laptops too. So your website design should still scale up and respond to bigger screens.
And as you’ll notice we have said scale up; as all sites should be built ‘mobile first’ rather than the old way, which was to build the desktop site first and try and squeeze it all down.
The beauty of desktop browsing comes down to the fact that people often have lager screens with higher resolutions, which allows for a lot more content to be displayed on screen at once without looking messy.
One thing that we have experienced is that despite bigger screens and higher resolutions, the format of websites is still the same. Meaning that generally the website design still fills a column down the middle and leaves the sides blank (at least blank from any real content). Back in around 2013 we had a website which would fill the whole screen, but as with others, we found that it was just too big and the feel simply wasn’t right to simply get the relevant info quickly.
So what was the real point of this article? Well hopefully it made you realise the importance and necessity of having a responsive website and the fact that a large portion of your users are probably only browsing on a tablet computer or mobile phone so any new design should defiantly be designed and built using a mobile first approach.
So contact us today or visit our Ipswich based website design studio for a free consultation.