Top Mistakes To Avoid During Responsive Web Design
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The relevance of RWD(Responsive Web Design) is not only limited to content or marketing strategy, the number of devices on which your website gets properly rendered matters a lot if you wish your website to rank higher in SERPs(Search Engine Result Pages). RWD is also a key factor for increasing the end user engagement for any website. However, developing and maintaining the responsive web design of a website can prove to be a tiring job. You may get irritated when your website traffic is below the expected level. Especially, after investing a considerable amount of money as well as time.
Maybe a lot of users couldn’t view your website properly in their choice of device and stopped visiting.
So, how to ensure that your website is responsive and is rendered properly in all kinds of mobile devices? Let’s take a look at some must-avoid mistakes that will definitely bring down your site’s popularity and ranking.
Using Large Sized Media Elements
This is a very common issue that occurs in websites containing high-resolution images and video content. In an area with poor network coverage or a device with less physical memory, this will lead to very slow page loading. Studies show that an average internet user spends less than a minute in a site, within which they decide whether to stay and explore further or leave the website. If your website is taking more than a minute to load, the user will leave the website and move to another that offers the same features. This will lead to loss of your business and reduced ranking in the search engine.
- Leave the 4k and 2k images for desktop and use low-resolution images to be displayed when the site is opened using a mobile device.
- Remove unnecessary videos that do not add any value to your website.
- Use vector images instead of .png as they are scalable and have very less size.
Complicated Navigation and Indexing
Often developers tend to forget that in responsive web design, they should think from the perspective of a user. A clustered navigation bar with lots of menus and subitems is comfortable to explore in the desktop because of the large screen. But in small screen, the user gets confused and frustrated when they have to scroll through the number of menu items in the navigation window.
- Categorize the menu and sub items and arrange them in a way so that the user does not face any problem in going back to the previous menu or figuring out which button does what.
- Keep a “scroll to top” button in case of a lengthy page that will save the effort of scrolling up to the top of the page.
- Keep a fixed header for the mobile device so that user does not have to scroll up every time they want to move to another page or another menu item.
Buttons and Gestures Not Working
Many designers fail to design web pages while keeping the touch and gesture feature in mind. It is often observed that press and hold, swiping, tap and zoom in effects do not work for mobile view of website. Users often fail to click on buttons because of small font size.
- Remember, clicking an item on a desktop is easier because of the small size of the mouse pointer. In mobile, users have to use their thumb or index, which is almost a millimetre thick for this purpose. Adjust the fonts and size of buttons so that end users don’t face any problem while navigating.
- Keep a minimum of 20 pixels between each item to avoid errors caused by interfacing.
- Instead of testing on an emulator, unit testing should be done manually on real devices to ensure that the application can be used comfortably by an end user.
Hiding Unnecessary Content
Websites often contain UI elements that are quite complicated. This may include multi-level forms, data table, calculator, advanced search forms, etc. which may create a problem because, in a small 6-inch mobile screen, it is too much information to be processed by a user. The truth is, if you are targeting a mobile device and you have a complicated website with too much information, it is impossible to fit the entire content of your site.
- Plan the website thoroughly during the designing phase and decide what content to show and what to hide in different devices.
- Optimize the mobile view of website and remove unnecessary elements and focus only on the primary content.
- Use elements like dropdowns or collapsible columns that will allow the user to access the hidden functionality if they want to. Take help from a mobile friendly tester
Keeping Screen Size into Account
Often, media queries are written keeping the device into account. For example, there are device specific media queries for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, iPad, etc. This used to work earlier when there was a limited number of mobile devices. But with new devices being launched almost daily, this will create a problem. Websites are observed to work perfectly in iPhone but not in another device with a screen size slightly larger than it.
- For responsive breakpoints, consider the different screen sizes like extra-large, large, mid, small and micro screens.
- Instead of writing fixed screen width in the media query, write minimum and maximum device width.
- Keep on testing your website and observe the market. Use cloud-based testing platforms like LambdaTest whenever a new mobile device is launched and check if your website is rendered properly in it. Perfrom screen resolution tests.
Responsiveness of your website should be your top priority while populating your idea with the world through your website. Design and test your website carefully keeping in mind the factors stated above and ensure that your website can be explored properly by users all around the world using the device of their choice.
Written by Arnab Roy Chowdhury
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