In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is vital for the success of any small business. As an increasing number of people are accessing the internet via mobile devices, it’s crucial that a website adapts it’s layouts for all screen sizes (mobile, tablet, laptops and desktops).
The ability of a website to adapt to any screen size is known as ‘Responsive Design’ and is at the core of our website development design process. You can trust that any website we develop will provide an exceptional user experience across all device types.
In this article, we will delve into the world of responsive design and explore why it holds the key to small business success in the digital realm.
The easiest way to understand the layout changes is to take a simplified example. Consider the diagram below which shows how the layout will adapt on desktop and mobile-sized devices.
Both layouts show a header, 3 areas of content and a footer.
See that on a mobile device the content areas are rearranged into a single column, they are colour coded so you to make the comparison easier.
The exact number of columns can be set for different screen widths, for example 3 for desktop, 2 for tablets and 1 for mobiles.
On a desktop, the header usually contains the logo, menu, search icon, social media button and so on. The content of the page in this example is represented by 3 equal width columns with a footer shown at the bottom of each page.
Sometimes this basic behaviour will not suffice, so it’s possible to create completely different layouts, let’s one each for mobile, tablet and desktop devices and simply show the appropriate layout on each device. This will mean duplication of content however and also a larger page size resulting in slower load times however this may be slight however.
Not all content may be required on all device types, in this case it can be set to only display where required.
On a desktop the menu can be displayed horizontally with either dropdowns or a mega menu as shown in the screenshot.
On a mobile the menu is displayed vertically and can expand and collapse to allow a vistor to drill down to the required page links.
No Mouse Hover on Touch Screens
Remember that touch screen devices cannot use mouse hover effects, everything is done with just taps and swipes.
For example, for the menu, at least two taps may be required. The first tap has the same effect as hovering, sections of the menu can then be expanded with further taps and a final tap is required to navigate to the desired page.
Image Aspect Ratios
What may not be immediately apparent is that the aspect ratio of the images can change drastically from being a wide image to being narrower and relative taller a shown in the two screen shots above for desktop and mobile devices respectively.
This can result in the subject of the image not being displayed properly. There are several ways to cater for this:
Point of Interest
The image left shows the WordPress image editor with a ‘point of interest’ indicated by the small blue circle.
The aspect ratio for images may change for different device types. As this happens, each image will be centred on it’s point of interest.
Scaling Font Sizes
Font sizes will be scaled to an extent by the device but further adjustments can be made based on the screen size if required.
For example, if large text is used on a desktop layout, it can be reduced in size for tablets and reduced even further for mobile phones.
Embracing Mobile-Friendly Experience
With the pervasive use of mobile devices for internet browsing, having a website that seamlessly adapts to different screen sizes has become paramount. Responsive design ensures that your website dynamically adjusts its layout, content, and functionality based on the device being used. By embracing a mobile-friendly experience, you can effectively reach a wider audience and provide an optimal user experience, irrespective of the device they choose.
Improved User Experience
Responsive design places a strong emphasis on delivering an exceptional user experience. By optimizing the visual presentation, navigation, and interaction elements, your website becomes intuitive and user-friendly across various devices. Whether it’s adjusting font sizes, repositioning images, or enhancing button accessibility, a responsive design ensures that your visitors can effortlessly engage with your content. A seamless and enjoyable user experience fosters customer satisfaction, encourages prolonged engagement, and increases the likelihood of conversions.
Boost in Search Engine Rankings:
Search engines, like Google, prioritize websites that prioritize responsive design. In fact, responsiveness has become a crucial factor in search engine ranking algorithms. By adopting a responsive approach, your website stands a better chance of securing higher rankings in search results. Improved visibility and organic traffic translate into increased exposure for your small business, ultimately driving growth and success.
Cost and Time Efficiency
Maintaining separate websites for desktop and mobile can be a resource-intensive endeavor. Responsive design eliminates the need for multiple versions of your site, streamlining development, management, and updates. With a responsive website, you save valuable time and resources, allowing you to allocate them to other crucial aspects of your small business.
Adaptability to Future Technologies
In a fast-paced technological landscape, anticipating and adapting to new devices and platforms is vital. Responsive design future-proofs your website, ensuring its compatibility with emerging technologies and diverse screen sizes. By embracing responsive design principles, you can safeguard your small business against the need for extensive redesigns or redevelopment in the face of evolving digital trends.
Responsive design has emerged as a critical ingredient for small business success in the digital realm. By adopting a responsive approach, your website will be empowered to provide a consistent and engaging user experience across various devices. Additionally, you improve your search engine rankings, save time and resources, and future-proof your online presence. Embracing responsive design is an investment in your small business’s growth, enabling you to stay relevant, reach a wider audience, and flourish in the ever-expanding digital marketplace.
In summary, responsive design unlocks the potential for your small business to thrive in the dynamic online landscape, ensuring that your website seamlessly adapts to the diverse needs and preferences of your audience.