Responsive web design, often abbreviated to RWD, is relevant to more than merely content or marketing strategies; the more devices your site performs responsively on, the better for your website rankings in the search engine results pages, or SERPS. RWD also plays a vital role in increasing engagement for users, but it’s not always easy to develop and maintain, and mistakes are often made.
What Mistakes Should Be Avoided in Responsive Web Design?
If traffic to your website is less than you’d anticipated, and you’re feeling frustrated because you can’t quite figure out why, then the following points might help you to learn from your mistakes, and give your website and brand a much-needed and well-deserved boost.
The use of large media elements:
If your website contains a lot of high-resolution images and/or video content, it could result in slow page loading speeds for users in areas with poor network coverage, or for those who have a device with less physical memory.
It’s common knowledge that internet users on average, spend less than sixty seconds visiting a site, and they use that time to decide whether to browse for a little longer, or give up and take their search elsewhere.
A slow website will definitely not encourage users to stick around, and if your site takes more than a minute to load, you could lose traffic, and ultimately, sales; in a worst-case scenario, it could even spell death for your business if not rectified swiftly.
Complex navigation and indexing:
When designing a website, it’s important to think about its entire design from the perspective of users, and this should never be overlooked, especially when creating a responsive website that can be accessed easily from a number of devices.
A navigation bar that is cluttered with menus and subitems may be easy for users to find their way around on a desktop, but when it comes to a smaller screen on a handheld device, users will quickly find it troublesome and hard to use effectively.
Scrolling through the many menu items in the navigation window will doubtless result in the user giving up and trying another site selling the same, or similar products and services, and you lose out on their potential custom.
Touch features don’t work effectively:
Press, hold, swipe, tap and zoom effects often don’t function properly, if at all, when viewing a website on a mobile device, and users are not always able to click on the relevant buttons due to their small size. While this may not sound like a big deal, it could still lose you valuable traffic and potential customers.
Consistent navigation is not employed:
When creating responsive websites, many designers neglect to opt for consistency across a
variety of different layouts, neglecting to pay attention to the fact that different screen sizes and devices require different types of navigation. If a website doesn’t maintain consistency, this could be another factor that drives users away and decreases traffic.
Too much information crowding the site:
Including multi-level forms, data tables, calculators and advanced search forms among others, websites often contain complex UI elements, and these can quickly cause problems on a tiny, 6-inch screen. That amount of content simply won’t fit on smaller devices, and so it needs to be hidden effectively to prevent it from impeding the users’ experience.
Images on a website, wherever they’re being viewed, need to be clear and easy to see, and the size should be relevant to the device its being viewed on. Too big or too small images can make a website appear unprofessional, as well as deterring users and not giving them a positive experience. When creating a truly responsive website, designers must use proper images with good sizing and clear visibility.
Linking to non-mobile-friendly websites:
It can be easy to damage the users experience when they visit your website, if some of the links contained within it, take users to sites that are not responsive, or non-mobile friendly, in other words.
Not understanding the client’s requirements:
This is a common mistake among unprofessional web design agencies with little experience, and can lead to huge mistakes being made when creating a website. Failing to understand the clients precise requirements, or not asking the right questions of them in order to create a responsive website to suit their target audience, is a problem that can easily be prevented by talking in detail to clients and ensuring their needs are met before a site goes live.
Screen sizes are not accounted for:
When there were a limited number of mobile devices, device specific media queries used to be effective and would work for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, iPad, to name but a few, however, with new devices continually being launched, this soon becomes problematic.
Nowadays, screen sizes can vary greatly, and websites that once used to work well for an iPhone, no longer fit and can’t be viewed properly. Screen sizes must be accounted for when designing a responsive website, and a professional web design agency Toronto will ensure that your website works perfectly well on a variety of devices and screen sizes.
Responsive web design is a necessity nowadays, and if you want your business to succeed online, your site needs to function well no matter what device it’s being viewed on. Neglect this aspect, or make any of the common mistakes listed above, and it could spell disaster for you, your brand, and your business.
One of the simplest and most efficient ways of ensuring that your website is responsive – and to avoid any of the potentially costly errors mentioned here – is to use the services of a professional web design agency Toronto, who will work hard to make your website perform well, wherever it’s being viewed. With their expertise and technical know-how, your site will be in good hands, and you’ll soon be able to reap the rewards of increased traffic and a higher conversion rate.