Responsive web design refers to the process of utilizing various CSS and HTML coding tools to render websites in a way that is ideally compatible with the device that is accessing the site. Put simply, it’s about making sure that your mobile site is properly designed for mobile use, that your desktop site is optimized for the desktop, and so forth. Some developers will create multiple versions of a site to maximize device compatibility, but at the very least there should be a desktop and mobile version.
Right now, and heading into 2020, one of the biggest areas of focus within responsive web design is mobile optimization. As more and more users switch to mobile-only Internet access, brands need to keep up by making sure that their mobile sites are giving users everything that they need and want. Of course, there’s a lot more to it than just rendering. Here’s what to keep in mind for the coming year.
Focus on Responding
It isn’t enough to just have multiple formats for every variation of device and resolution need, however. Until now, just getting on the mobile development train was enough for some brands and websites. Going forward, however, it needs to be more intuitive.
Responsive technology should be implemented not only to detect device settings like VPNs and other variables but to actually and automatically respond to the user’s exact preferences and habits. This will give the end-user more satisfaction in their browsing experience, but it will also eliminate the need to invest time and money on separate designs and development projects for every single device that comes on the market.
More Cost-Effective Solutions
The good news, for websites and brands on a more limited budget, is that this new focus is actually much more cost-effective and practical to implement. In fact, even just the sheer time and effort involved in creating separate versions of their website makes it completely impractical, if not almost impossible. Instead of spending the entire budget coding a handful of new versions of the website as independent projects, you can put your focus on responsive technology and make your website fully-responsive and user-friendly regardless of how it is accessed, and for a fraction of the cost in most cases.
Examples of Responsive Features
The general idea of responsive web design isn’t too complicated. However, many people wonder what it actually means in practice. To help you prepare and figure out the best ways to put responsive technology to work for your mobile optimization and other needs, here are some examples to keep in mind.
- Max-Width: When creating responsive images, you’ll want to utilize the max-width property in the CSS coding. When you set this to 100%, images will scale down as needed based on the device accessing the website. They will also never load larger than the original, saving bandwidth and decreasing load times.
- Responsive Text: One of the biggest complaints of mobile users is having to pinch and zoom, change zoom settings, or otherwise manipulate websites to read text properly. If you add a “vw” to your font size, it will adapt to the size of the browser window accordingly. (VW stands for Viewpoint Width, and your code would look like this: “font-size:10vw”)
- Hidden Navigation: Not only does this help minimize site load times, but it ensures that your website renders perfectly on any device and that navigational features don’t block important website elements. Most mobile sites use a drop-down menu with three lines or dots at the top of the page, but there are a variety of options. Just make sure everything is out of the way, but easy to find.
- Voice User Interface: With the growing popularity of voice-activated personal assistants and other AI, many websites are actually adding a voice interface to enhance the convenience and usability of the site for all users, across all devices. This also shows users with physical accessibility issues that the brand cares about their needs, so it’s a double-win and then some.
There are dozens of different ways to incorporate features for responsive web design, but these are the hottest trends and topics for 2020. Take advantage of responsive tools and technology rather than focusing on a separate platform or device designs alone. When you do it right, you will have a much better chance of success and you won’t need a big budget to get the best results.
To learn more about responsive design or get a quote on professional design services, contact Iconic Web HQ today. Our team of expert marketers specializes in creating high-converting websites that are optimized for user-responsiveness across all platforms and devices, and can assist with other marketing efforts, as well. Call us now at 717-687-1841 to discuss your needs.