Responsive website design was once a luxury for mobile web visitors. Today, Google’s Mobilegeddon update has forced website marketing companies to make their websites responsive or suffer the bottom-of-the-barrel in search rankings. This has made responsive web design the standard for website design in Texas today. And while responsive design is usually not too complex, it does come with several rules that must be followed to preserve the end-user experience. Avoid these seven responsive website design mistakes to keep your customers happy and ensure that they return to your website.
Hiding Content From Users
Nothing will frustrate your customers more than the discovery that some of your content is inaccessible on smaller screens. In the age of responsive design, people expect to have everything at their fingertips, especially when it comes to mobile website content. If you do decide to hide cumbersome content, such as large images, consider how its removal impacts the user experience and plan accordingly. Content should always be removed in terms of priority, giving mobile visitors the same highly valuable content as their desktop counterparts.
Navigation is one of the most crucial and yet overlooked aspects of responsive design. Many users are still adjusting to navigating around a responsive website, so it is important to think through your website design with optimal navigation in mind. The ideal navigation is intuitive and easy for users to navigate without a lot of guesswork. Your navigation menu should take into account the overall accessibility as well as your user habits. Ask yourself: Which pages attract the most attention and which ones would best be left to a secondary menu? Expandable links and hidden sliding drawer menus are great options for most websites that have a lot of content and limited space.
Background Images and Icons
While relevant, dynamic images improve the overall user experience, your visitors will only be frustrated by inflexible images that look blurry when scaled larger or smaller. Images that take forever to load also burden an otherwise efficient page. Retina-ready images can help draw user attention while preventing awkward scaling errors and lagging page load times.
Using too many resources is one of the costliest mistakes that responsive newcomers make. These can overwhelm a responsive design and kill page load time. Slow page load time means fewer conversions for web pages. Remember: responsive design is all about simplicity and adaptability, which often means sacrificing unnecessary resources in favor of a more streamlined approach. You may have to put in some extra effort to make sure that the resources your customers use the most are the ones that are immediately accessible, but this step will pay great dividends over time. 1 simple trick is to use tools like Uglify and Sass to compress your website into a swift, responsive powerhouse.
Neglecting Older IE Versions
Using Separate Mobile URLs
Separate mobile URLs can severely impact the performance of your website across different mobile devices. From increases in response time to damaged search engine rankings, using a single URL across all mobile devices can help you avoid some major mistakes. Nonetheless, it may still be to your advantage to keep separate URLs for your mobile and desktop websites. Just remember that the trade-off of having an extra mobile site with smaller-screen friendly pages could be lower search rankings. For most business cases, having one URL makes the most sense.
Trusting the Device Too Much
Placing too much faith in the efficiency of mobile devices is a major pitfall for many designers. Ambiguity often leads designers to make rushed decisions about responsive technology. No device is perfect, so instead of relying solely on a smartphone or tablet to display your website properly, craft your content to look stellar on any device. When you’re done, make sure to use tools like Browerstack to test the functionality of your site across multiple devices at once.
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