Responsive Design: How to Make Your Website Shine on any Device or Desktop
Responsive design—the approach that allows a website to look great and function properly on a variety of devices and screen sizes—is no longer an optional design element for websites. The fact that in 2020, 68% of global website visits came from mobile devices speaks to the importance of having a website that is easily navigable from a smartphone. Yet, at the same time, desktops drove 46% of total time on websites globally, which makes one thing clear—this isn’t an either/or game. For your website to reach maximum potential, you must ensure it looks equally great from desktops and mobile devices.
Wondering how to make that happen? Let’s look at 7 tips that can help make your website shine on any device.
1. Plan Your Design
Before you can create a beautiful, well-branded website, you must know what you want it to do. Will customers use it to find your location and business hours? Will they be able to access your products or services and place online orders? Decide what you’ll use your website for, then create a blueprint or rough draft.
Keep in mind you’ll need two designs—one for desktop users and another for mobile devices. At a minimum, you’ll likely want to design a header, footer, home page, contact us page, about us page, and services/products page.
2. Make the Mobile Version Your Priority
While this may seem counterintuitive, creating your mobile version first (assuming you don’t already have a website built) allows you to troubleshoot problems with text size, images, and graphics. If you’re able to get everything looking good in the smaller format, it’s likely you’ll have no trouble when creating a desktop version that has more real estate for larger images and graphics.
3. Consider Using a Website Template
If only the answer to creating a navigable mobile-friendly site was to shrink your desktop version down until it fit on a mobile screen. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work…but an easy fix is to build your website using a template that incorporates responsive design. As you build your site, the template automatically creates a mobile-friendly version. Wix, GoDaddy, and Weebly are few sites that create a mobile-friendly version of your website while you’re building the standard version.
4. Create Sites that are Easy to Navigate
Creating websites that are easy to use, regardless of the format, should be high on your priority list—after all, a whopping 94% of consumers demand it. For desktop versions, this is accomplished with a header that provides clear links to additional information.
Creating an easy-to-navigate mobile version of your website can be a bit tricky thanks to limited space. While some mobile versions rely on users knowing that the three lines, or “hamburger icon”, provides access to website pages, not all users are familiar with the format. You might consider creating buttons for primary pages that are easily navigable from the home page (your online store, contact us page, and call to action button) and use the hamburger icon for accessing less important pages.
5. Keep Important Info High on Mobile Layout
You want the information customers are most interested in to be exactly what they see when they open your website from a mobile device. “Contact Us”, “Visit Today”, “See Our New Products”, and a call-to-action button are examples of important information your customers should be able to easily access. Don’t make them scroll to the footer for details about your business—after all, customers only spend an average of 5 seconds looking at website’s written content. If they are forced to scroll to the bottom of the screen to find what they need, odds are high they’ll bounce and check out your competitor’s site to find what they’re looking for.
6. Test Your Current Mobile Layout
If you’ve already created your mobile layout but want to make sure it is user-friendly, Google offers a free mobile-friendly test. Simply enter your website and Google will tell you what’s working and what needs to be adjusted to make your site more mobile friendly.
7. Your Mobile Design Should be Thumb Friendly
There’s nothing more annoying than trying to navigate a mobile website with tiny font and multiple links crammed next to each other, making it virtually impossible to click the correct link on your first…or second…or third…ARRRGGGH…attempt.
Do your customers a favor and keep important links in the thumb zone—the central and lower portion of a mobile device screen. Upper corners are more difficult to reach using the thumbs, so avoid using that space for important or frequently accessed information.
By ensuring your website responds appropriately, regardless of the type of device used to view it, you’ll increase the number of customers who enjoy a positive experience while browsing your site and improve customer perception of your brand and business.
And if you decide you’d like help improving the responsive design of your website, contact us here for a custom quote. We love helping customers create websites that are easy to navigate and gorgeous to look at.
Here’s to creating wonderful websites that look great on desktops and mobile devices alike!