Responsive design is being talked about so often among digital marketers and web developers these days, it's quickly becoming one of those often-derided buzzwords. But that doesn't diminish its importance; instead, the reason experts have been talking about it so much is that its importance continues to increase. In the age of mobile marketing, it won't be long until responsive design is a must. In fact, we may have already reached that point! So without further ado, here are 8 amazing facts about responsive web design you may not have known.
- It's not a "mobile site." In fact, responsive design aims to do away with those pesky mobile sites (you know the ones: m.YourSite.com) that required content duplications and more headaches than they were worth. A responsive site is a mobile site as much as a desktop site: it's both, fitting all screen sizes.
- Most sites can be converted to responsive. Responsive design does not mean starting over from scratch; sometimes, you merely need some changes and updates in your site's code to make it responsive. Of course, you should probably also make sure that your images and content are easily viewable/readable on all devices.
- Responsive sites don't have to load longer. We've all been there: you go back to a website you visit often, and suddenly it looks better on your tablet - but also takes three times as long to load. It's only normal to blame the responsive design for it, and thinking of an adjustment to responsive as adding code only adds to that thinking. Fortunately, that's a fallacy: a well-designed responsive site does not load any more slowly than its non-responsive counterparts.
- Responsive design is not a magic cure-all. True, it significantly improves your website's performance in all screen sizes. But you still need a well-designed site with compelling content to actually attract potential customers to your business.
- Typography is crucial in responsive design. Make sure you pick your font, typeface, spacing and size not only based on your personal device of choice, but all devices. A font may look great on your desktop computer at work, but be almost unreadable on a smartphone.
- It creates an opportunity for navigation improvements. If your website is desktop-only, you probably don't think much about your navigation. Because you can fit a horizontal or vertical navigation bar into your site, you just fill it up with content and create nested menus as necessary. Responsive design requires simpler navigation, which forces you to rethink your organization and make improvements where needed.
- A half-page images is about 90% the size of a full-page image. We admit, we're getting into technicalities here. But because of the dynamic screen-size adjustment by responsive sites, the times of merely cutting the dimensions of your image to make it fit half instead of all of your screen are over.
- Responsive goes beyond design. Don't think about responsive design as a one-time thing that is over as soon as your developer hands you the finished product. Instead, use the initial design as a starting point to create everything on your site from here on out responsively. That includes writing content in shorter paragraphs and sentences to avoid the dreaded "wall of text" on mobile devices, keeping your navigation lean by only including pages that are absolutely necessary, and including plenty of images and graphs. Remember that once your website is responsive, you will inevitably receive more visitors on mobile devices. Don't miss the opportunity to design your content with them in mind.
Of course, these are just a few of the many cool facts regarding responsive design. To hear more, and to get started on bringing your website into the mobile age, contact us!