8 Responsive Web Design Mistakes Each Developer Must Avoid
1) Focusing Exclusively on Devices
The users nowadays access websites on a variety of devices – desktop/laptop computers, smartphones, tablets and phablets. But the choice of device differs from one user to another. While designing a website, many developers focus on devices instead of their screen sizes. The varying screen size of devices often makes it difficult for developers to categorize targeted devices. You must focus on the screen size of individual devices to develop the responsive break points precisely and make the website good on devices regardless of their screen sizes. It is also a good idea to divide the screen sizes in a number of categories – extra large, large, mid-range, small, and micro.
2) Giving More Importance to Mobile Devices
A steady increase is noted in the number of users accessing websites on their mobile devices. But many users still access websites and web applications on their laptop or desktop computers. Responsive web design allows developers to make a website look good on both computers and mobile devices. But many developers till focus extensively on mobile devices while designing the website’s layout. You must focus on both computers and mobile devices to enhance the website’s user experience. While planning the content hierarchy and displaying images, you must keep in mind various devices. Also, you need to keep the layout and fonts scalable enough to make the website accessible on any device.
3) Ignoring Touch Screen Experience
Most users nowadays access websites and web applications without using keyboards. The mobile devices enable users to access website more fluidly using touchscreen technologies. Many laptop computers even come with features to deliver touchscreen experience. But many developers ignore the significance of touchscreen experience while developing responsive websites. You can easily optimize the website’s user experience by optimize the website’s user interface for touchscreens. It is always important to improve the website’s touch screen experience by using larger design elements, making the navigation system accessible, remove visual distractions, and focusing on the swipe space.
4) Keeping Navigation Consistent across Layouts
The navigation feature of a responsive website must complement the screen sizes and form factors of different devices. But many developers still develop websites with conventional desktop-like navigation system. The conventional navigation system affects the website’s accessibility and user experience on mobile devices. Instead of keeping the navigation system consistent across layouts, you must explore ways to customize the navigation system according to individual view points. You can easily optimize the navigation system by keeping website elements like typefaces, link labels, button labels and colour treatment consistent. At the same time, you need to ensure that elements like visual layout, button size, and navigation keep changing according to the screen size of the underlying device.
5) Hiding Website Content
Responsive web design allows developers to hide website content using HTML and CSS. Many developers hide website content when a user accesses the website on mobile devices. You must remember that each user wants to access all features and content of a website regardless of his device. Also, many users nowadays access the single website on multiple devices. They expect the website content to remain consistent across varying devices. When you hide specific website content, the user experience delivered by the website is impacted adversely. Instead of hiding content, your content hierarchy must focus on prioritizing and optimizing content for each device.
6) Not Improving the Website’s Loading Speed
A number of studies show that most users nowadays abandon websites that takes more than three seconds to load. Hence, the developers cannot prevent user abandonment by making the website look good on varying devices. In addition to making the website responsive, you need to focus on its loading speed. You must use robust tools to measure the loading speed of individual websites. At the same time, you also need to enhance the website’s speed by optimizing images, compressing front-end resources, reducing number of HTTP requests, reducing server response time, and using content delivery networks. The website speed optimization techniques will complement responsive web design, while improving the website’s user experience and engagement.
7) Using Multiple URLs
Responsive web design enables developers to make a website look good on varying devices. The approach even makes the website accessible on multiple devices with a single URL. But many developers use multiple URLs for a single website. Some developers use separate URLs for the desktop and mobile versions of a single website. Likewise, many programmers include sub-domains in the website’s URL structure. You must remember that the multiple URLs and sub-domains affect the website’s search engine visibility and user experience adversely. Most users nowadays abandon websites that require them to switch URLs according to individual device. You can easily make the website popular by allowing users to access it on multiple devices with a single URL.
8) Not Testing the Website Elaborately
Responsive web design helps developers to make a website look good and accessible on varying devices. But many users nowadays prefer mobile apps to mobile websites. The developers must explore ways to make the responsive website compete with mobile apps by delivering optimal user experience. The developers enhance website’s user experience by improving its functionality, usability, performance, security, and searchability. But they forget the significance of testing the website with varying devices, platforms, and browsers. You must do the web application testing thoroughly to assess its user experience and identify the defects or issues affecting its usability. The testing results will help you to enhance the website’s user experience across browsers, operating systems, and devices.
On the whole, you must avoid a number of mistakes to leverage benefits of responsive web design fully. Also, you should consider implementing next generation responsive web design to make the website deliver richer user experience across devices and platforms. The next generation responsive web design tools further help you to accelerate custom website development while avoiding common responsive web design mistakes.