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Why You are Failing at Responsive Web Design

Why you are failing at responsive web design

Technology is moving at the speed of light and demanding us to attempt to keep up with it. There's more than meets the eye when attempting to keep up with client demand than just making a client’s site mobile friendly. Yes, what you know is important but what you don’t know or adequately applying what you know is what will keep you from reaching your desired outcome. As a developer if your work is not producing the results you want here are few reasons why you are failing at responsive web design.

Elements of Responsive web design

Regarding responsive web design it's all about problem solving. We see a problem, analyze it, break it down then create a solution that makes life easier. While this is a sometimes grueling task it's worth all the hard work in the end. A basic rule to keep in mind is that when users visit a site all the pieces of the web puzzle and technological aspects need to flawlessly fit in order for user interaction to occur.

Screen size, platform and orientation are pieces of the puzzle that make up qualitative design and development. Other aspects include flexible grids, images and knowledgeable use of CSS queries. Whether the user switches from a desktop, laptop or iPad, proper response development allows the website to automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities.

In order to keep up with the exponential speed of technology you must address consumer convenience and demand. Consider these statistics:

  • You have 10 seconds to leave an impression and tell them what they’ll get out of your website and company. (Source - NN Group)
  • 40% of people will leave a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. (Source – Econsultancy)
  • 4 out of 5 consumers shop on smartphones (Source - Comscore)
  • When it comes to the top 100 sites analyzed, only 11.8% of these sites use responsive web design. (Source - Akamai)
  • Maximizing the browser experience

    If your users have a memorable experience when they visit the website, they'll come back. The site’s appearance and visual structure should change without content or function loss for the users of any specific device or screen size. Being aware of the most popular screen sizes and resolutions when designing a site will optimize user interaction.

    Think Responsive

    There are hundreds of layouts you could use to make the website look good. However, some layouts are more developmentally ideal for responsive design than others. Consider using designs that convert better to assorted new sizes.

    Site element compression

    Compression of page resources allow for easier transmission across networks. Reducing the number of bytes sent per page or element, creates easier content browsing formation. This also allows greater accessibility for devices with varying or low-bandwidth.


    Structural elements and texts in the layout column were once the only flexible option available in early web development. Sometimes simplicity works best. Application of adaptive sizing and width resizing provides a flexible option for images. Flexible layouts allow images for automatic adjustment without breaking up the layout pattern. This is a perfect solution for devices that switch from portrait orientation to landscape instantaneously or when the user switches from a large computer screen to an iPad.

    Another option although not as simple as the previous choice, is to use variable break points. However, when storing multiple image sizes in your data to accommodate for screen resolution you may encounter challenges regarding bandwidth usage.

    There are many aspects to the web design puzzle and as a developer failing is not a viable option. Knowledgeable application creates solutions and optimizes responsive web design.

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    Posted By Dwayne McGowan | 8/25/2015 10:35:42 AM