As it has the competence of adjusting itself as per the requirement of the viewing medium, a responsive website in these days of ever-increasing mobile-search proportions can aptly be called the need of the hour.
These websites which provide us with the finest viewing experience across all devices stand quite different from its predecessor, the mobile website. The m.site used a ‘multiple sites for multiple devices’ logicality, whereas responsive websites smartly follow a single site multiple devices approach.
To get the maximum utility out of responsive web design some prior considerations are to be upheld, and they are as follows:
1. Prioritisation of Features:
Lesser the screen size of the viewing medium, lesser is the scope for accommodating content. The content gets reduced when the device turns to an IPad from a desktop or further to mobile phone screen from an IPad.
Therefore it needs a well drafted strategic course of action to decide what content to keep and what not to. Following are the two quick tips that can be used as thumb rules whenever any confusion arises.
- Mobile phone readers want quick and updated content. If you are running a newspaper site do not put special features or op-eds in the default view as those are meant for Sunday afternoon leisurely reading. For a mobile phone user, the most important news links for the day and breaking news or live feed as continuously running tickers are enough.
- Do not compromise with your brand presence. To get all your important things in the landing view don’t try to negotiate with your brand name and logo as they are the Holy Scriptures for you through which you will be recalled and remembered.
2. Fixed Grid
If the designer and developer are not working in coordination with each other, often their ideas seem to suffer from a spatial mismatch. A pre-decided grid for the interface is what it requires to reduce the conflict.
Grids provided by bootstrap come in handy in these situations, though it still has not become a standard operating procedure throughout.
3. Multiple Devices Targeted Planning
More than the device itself, it’s the screen size of the device that matters the most as a device belonging to a particular genre can also differ for different variants. The four set standards for testing platforms are as follows:
- Screen width ranging from 320 px to 479 px that caters to the mobile phone category
- Screen width ranging from 480 px to 767 px that caters to the Small tablet category
- Screen width ranging from 768 px to 959 px that caters to the Tablet category
- Screen width greater than 960 px that caters to the Desktop category
Although, the importance imparted upon any of the categories, depends a lot upon the usage preference of the target consumers. For example, if a considerable share of your customer is habituated in operating websites in larger than normal size screens then you should test your product for screen size greater than 1200 PX which falls under the television category.
4. Be Precise
Drafting the content for a device constrained by screen-width is a major challenge. No additional graphics or design stuff, which is otherwise permissible in desktop content, is a strict no-no for mobile screens. The content should convey whatever it had intended to without generating much of a scope for scrolling and frequent tapping on the read more links.
5. Less Interactive Features
Hover functions in websites meant for desktops helps a lot in incorporating required data, even if the primary space is restrained. But these features will definitely not work on mobile platforms as you don’t enjoy the privilege of moving the cursor here. Therefore the entire RWD (Responsive Web Design) for these cases require restructuring.
6. Use Movement Towards Desktop to Your Favour
If the prioritization of content and features have not been ideal there can be observed a reverse flow of users moving from mobile devices back to their older static ones. Reasons for this return, properly deciphered, can work as excellent feedback to be worked upon, and making the smaller version more & more self-sufficient.
All said and done the real success for the responsive website will depend upon this non-functional attribute of being ruthless. The strictest you become in terms of editing your features, shortening your content and restructuring your features the more successful your RWD (Responsive Web Design) will turn out to be.