Here is the point: 60% of all internet access is mobile and 67.35% of people own mobile devices.
This means that more than half of the internet users will access your website from a smartphone or tablet. No matter which industry your business operates in.
This figure is both encouraging and frightening. In fact, this can bring greater flow to your website, but also completely destroy it if your site is not optimized for all sorts of devices out there.
That’s where responsive web design comes in.
The Internet is a ruthless and competitive world and users know it.
Have you ever visited a site on your mobile device that was not mobile friendly? I bet you did. And I am also quite sure you left it immediately. An unoptimized site will make you lose the chance to sell your product or service.
There is another important factor to consider. a non-mobile-friendly site will affect your ranking on Google. Google has become extremely intelligent and will begin to penalize your website if the results show that people leave it quickly and without having completed any operations. In fact, this means that they have not found what they were looking for.
Another good reason to have responsive design guidelines in mind when starting building a website.
Do you know what would be even worse? If they had not been able to discover the true potential of what you have to offer because your site is not optimized for mobile devices.
It is never too late to make your website optimized, but you must act as soon as possible. As a matter of fact, you are missing out on potential customers right now.
If you still have to start building your website, follow each step of this article. In this way, you will have an optimized site right away.
Do you want a site that reveals the potential of your business and does not make you lose customers?
This article will not only help you structure your site but it will also take into account the many devices out there.
Let’s dive in!
It might seem obvious, but it is not.
Too often people start creating their own site without knowing what their goal is.
Remember that you have full control of your website when you are creating it. Yet you have to know from the beginning 2 essential factors:
What you want people to do when they get to your site (buy a product, read a blog post, contact you).
How you are gonna keep them on your website.
Users will do what you tell them to do. Nonetheless, in order for this to happen, you will need to display clear Call to Action buttons.
The CTAs button will ease interaction with your site and will redirect the user to the most relevant pages.
Content is King
Without relevant content, the reader will not take action and you will not see any increase in sales.
Content goes hand-in-hand with dwell time.
Dwell Time is the length of time a visitor spends on your website before returning to SERP.
The only way to increase this time frame is having contents that are:
Accessible and well-designed.
Is your website obvious and self-explanatory?
This is the first question you should ask yourself when evaluating your site. It is in fact, one of the cornerstones of responsive web design principles.
According to Statista, it takes about 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website.
A website has to be visually beautiful and attracting, but even more importantly, it must be exhaustive.
From the start of your homepage, it must be clear what your business does and what it has to offer.
If you build your site without this in mind, the reader will leave the site faster than you think.
Be clear, give precise explanations.
This does not mean that you have to write endless descriptions that will bore the reader to death. A brief and explanatory copy will make you win the readers’ attention.
Do you want a site that generates leads and conversions?
– Less is More. Create a site with a clean and simple layout. Describe your business in a few words and create clear CTAs.
– White Spaces. They will help user navigation throughout your site. Keep in mind that users don’t read, they scan. The user rarely reads all the paragraphs of your website. At first, he will look for the key points of your service, so make sure that they are visible and obvious.
White spaces will be a valid ally for achieving this goal.
Use a clean layout; most users will access your site from a mobile phone. This will make it easy for them to scan your website and decide if you are the right fit. With a screen that is much smaller than that of a laptop, white spaces are essential.
3. READING RULES
You might wondering what’s the connection between responsive web design and text. Well, do not underestimate the importance of this relationship.
The eyes tend to always move in the same direction:
– Left to right.
– Top to bottom.
For this reason, make sure to display your core message on the top left of your site.
Present an overview of the most important contents at the beginning of your site. In this way, the reader will know straightaway what you can do for him.
The same principle applies to the arrangement of the text from top to bottom. In fact, there is a chance the user won’t reach the bottom of your homepage (or any other page on your website). That’s why you should always enter the most relevant information at the top of any page.
By doing so, the reader will certainly spend more time on your website, increasing the dwell time. This will positively affect your SEO.
Follow this principle in order to provide users with an impactful experience. They could convert into leads and sales, which is your goal.
Do you now understand the fabulous connection between responsive website design and text? They can not exist without each other.
Remember that your readers will not keep scrolling down forever. Important information go on top!
4. RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN & THE CLICK ECONOMY
The user is lazy. He knows that there are infinite solutions to his problem online. If he won’t find what he was looking for on your page, he will leave it to continue searching elsewhere. As simple as that.
This principle goes hand in hand with the “scroll fatigue”. As already mentioned, the user won’t keep scrolling down forever looking for your secret sauce to be revealed.
I can’t stress it enough. Make sure the important information about your site is immediately visible.
The same goes for the “Click Economy”.
Let’s say that you managed to attract the reader and now he wants to find out more about what you have to offer. At this point, he will start digging for more information.
Keep in mind that although you have managed to get the reader’s attention, you have not yet completed the sale. This is the reason why you want to make this step easy and intuitive. Create direct links: you do not want people to press too many buttons to get to a place. In fact, the risk is that they never get there. Involve as few clicks as possible, because remember, the user could change his mind before making the purchase. And you definitely don’t want that.
Bear in mind that the connection may not be optimal for people landing on your page through mobile devices. As a result, the user could give up on your website before getting to the checkout page (or whatever page you want them to get to).
5. TEXT & IMAGES
Contents are the engine that drives your website.
First of all, consider integrating videos: they attract user attention and increase dwell time.
However, you should mainly focus your attention on text and images.
In fact, although videos increase user engagement, they are often not compatible with mobile devices and could affect the load speed of your site. As a result, you will want to replace them.
Text and images instead are elements that users will consume across all devices. They will give them the first impression, which is actually the only impression that really matters in the online world.
There are 2 different types of text fonts to choose from:
Although they are both fonts you can use on your site, there are some important differences that you should keep in mind before making your choice.
Serif fonts are normally used for headings and subheadings. On the contrary, Sans Serif fonts are chosen for long paragraphs of text as they are easier to read.
When designing and building a site, you should never prioritize aesthetics at the expense of usability.
Try to put yourself in the user’s shoes. Indeed, this is a fundamental step to create a product that is appealing to your target audience.
Another piece in the construction of your website is the choice of images.
Don’t make the mistake to use images just to fill in the blanks.
Before choosing an image for your site, consider the following points:
– Does it give information about your business?
– Does it visually or emotionally connect with your product or service?
– Does it reinforce the identity of your business?
In addition, choose images that are of high quality: they represent who you are and what you do.
As a rule of thumb (that you should be applied across your website), choose quality over quantity.
Remember that like videos, images may not be easily downloadable from mobile devices.
But don’t despair, there is a solution. Insert an Alt Tag for each image that appears on your site. In this way, even if the image cannot be uploaded, the reader will have an idea of what it is about.
This practice will also increase your SEO ranking as it will make it easier for visually impaired people to go through your site. Google loves this stuff!
6. SCHEME & CONSISTENCY
This is a practice you should apply to your whole site, to all its contents.
Create a pattern that you will repeat across the website. This practice will allow you to create harmonious and consistent pages.
Some elements to ease the creation of a scheme are:
CTA Buttons Style
Make sure all these elements are unique; you want your brand and website to stand out from the crowd.
Your website is an interactive user experience. Make sure the browsing and visual presentation to be consistent across all the pages.
Before deciding which style you want to adopt for your site, research your competitors and check what works for them. This doesn’t mean you should copy what already exists. On the contrary, take inspiration and improve the offer out there.
7. TEST YOUR WEBSITE
If you have followed all the previous steps to the letter, you are at an excellent stage already. But you didn’t get there yet.
Testing your website is the most important part in order to create responsive web design.
After all, that’s the purpose of the whole article.
I know what you are thinking. Theory is one thing and practice is another.
How am I gonna test my website on so many physical devices if the only thing I got is a wrecked IPhone 6 and a laptop?
Worry not, I’ve got you covered.
Here are some of our favourite tools for testing responsive web designs:
Responsinator: type your URL and your website will appear on different devices. You will be also able to interact with your pages, clicking on links and so much more.
Screenfly: Very similar to Responsinator. Use this amazing free tool to test your website across multiple devices.
But if you are a DIY person and you don’t want to turn to a website design agency, you better follow these steps. (I hope it doesn’t sound like a threat)
Some people would go for the easy solution: using pre-built website templates, such as Squarespace or Wix. Nothing wrong with that.
However, for a better result, dig a little deeper and build your website with Wordpress. It will allow you to customise your site, using the plugins you need, without having to pay to integrate them. It is much cheaper and, most importantly, versatile.
Website Design is an art and if you do not have the right means, it could get really tricky. However, if you follow these simple yet precise steps, you will get through it.
Every great website starts with research:
Track your competition, see what they are doing, what you can implement and improve.
Understand your target audience and give them what they are looking for.
Offer solutions: this is the whole purpose of your website.
Responsive web design will save your business from online failure, so don’t underestimate it.
We all know it can get a little nasty, especially at the beginning, but do not give up on it!
We promise it will become your BFF!
Do you already implement all these steps for successful responsive web design?