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 mobile smartphones and or tablet computers; it’s more important than ever to ensure your website is a fully responsive website and allows for a clean and comfortable user experience on the go. And considering that there are 45.6 million commercial websites created each year, it’s important to ensure the best quality when it comes to your user-experience.
Mobile first. UX Design – User Experience
The best practice in a responsive website design and development 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. With roughly 62% of all internet uses using smartphones as their primary internet device, it’s critical to have a seamless mobile version of your website.
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 are 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. Considering that the average time that a user spends on a website is less than 15 seconds, you need to make sure the website is as clear and user-friendly for all devices.
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 responsive 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! A study in Sweden showed that the average young user prefers a clean and visually appealing ‘user Interface’ than a fast website, showing just how key it is to make sure your UI for all devices is very clear and clean.
Desktop and laptops.
It’s still true that people browse and make purchases on a desktop computer and laptops too. So your responsive 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 larger screens with higher resolutions, which allows for a lot more content to be displayed on the screen at once without looking messy.
One thing that we have experienced is that despite bigger screens and higher resolutions, the format of a responsive website 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 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 definitely 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.
We can also produce other marketing content for your company, such as graphic design, as well as 2D and 3D animations to take your branding to the next level!
To read more on our responsive Website Design Service, check out the linked page to see examples and let’s start something together! And also be sure to check out our YouTube Channel for more interesting, informative, and entertaining content.