Responsive websites are designs that adapt according to the size of the view port, meaning they are properly viewable across devices.
You know this, so no use defining it again! We are defining it again because there is a misconception about responsive design.
You have seen websites which redirect to their mobile versions once you see them on mobile devices.
For example facebook.com and m.facebook.com – m.facebook.com is not a responsive version of facebook.com, they are completely different.
A responsive site is a site which adjusts the page content of the site according to the view port, without changing the content as well as the url for the site. The style of how the content displays changes but not the content itself.
Importance of Responsive websites
The concept of responsive websites is in demand just not because Google prefers responsive sites.
The number of mobile users are ever-increasing, people prefer to check sites on the go. The demand for websites that appear properly in smaller devices hence has gathered importance.
Just to give you some stats, a decent cottage rental website in the UK, over the period of 18 weeks received the following
Total Traffic: 540,066
Traffic from Desktop: 212,502
Traffic from Tablets: 162,317
Traffic from Mobile: 165,247
As you can see that the traffic from tablets and mobiles amount to around 60% compared to 40% on desktop. If we take mobiles alone, it amounts for 30% of total traffic.
You simply cannot ignore mobile users!!!!
Issues with Responsive Design
The issues related with responsive website design is to accommodate your content within small space. The lighter the weight of the page (total KB) downloaded the better. Light pages work well in 3G speed, the website page renders within 3 seconds.
Our experience says that the target is pretty tough to meet.
The good news is it is achievable. It requires a lot of planning and tweaking.
There are many, who will recommend you to use Accelerated Mobile Pages or AMP, a service provided by Google.
It is a good feature but then the UI of your sites break badly. Google loves content and so AMP highlights the content within your webpage. The design which you created painstakingly for your mobile experience simply goes haywire.
We often get requests to make websites responsive or fix the responsiveness of websites (forget about the loading time).
Fixing older websites for responsiveness
When we inspect the sites, we find that while designing such websites, developers and designers did not think about responsiveness. The truth is, sites created during that time did not bother about the loading time of a website.
In broader terms such sites cannot be made responsive without changing their structure.
So we reiterate always that you should decide on responsive designs when you start the design for the desktop version of your site. Sites just simply do not become responsive.
Responsive website frameworks
We often get arguments from clients that their site uses a responsive framework like BootStrap or Foundation. That should actually make your sites responsive.
Unfortunately that always is not true. Bad practices and incorrect understanding of the responsive technology leads to non responsive pages. That is even after using responsive frameworks.
Oh Yes! We too use responsive frameworks but then we also design for smaller devices while designing your desktop layout. We take the pain to show you the design of your site in smaller devices. Our methods actually gives you better responsive designs.
Unique experiences with responsive websites
There are more complex situations that arise and needs fixing. All the responsive frameworks claim that they are mobile first.
It simply means that these frameworks should work without problems on mobile browsers. We assume that they will respond to the differences in working between the mobile and desktop operating systems.
Most of the time, this is correct, but then we often come across unique mobile browser issues like where taps on mobile devices do not work as expected, often ruining the user interface interaction.
These unique issues are not rare, a simple version change of the mobile chrome browser can cause havoc to the user interface of a site.
We handle and correct them as they arise.
Be rest assured we move and adapt with the technology, we are never behind it.
Your responsive website design will get equal importance as that of your desktop website.
Responsive websites are not only important but unavoidable.
Do contact us if you have any requirements of making your existing website responsive or want to create a fresh new responsive website.