The Usability and Popularity of Responsive Design

Introduction

Technology has gone from strength to strength with smart phones, tablets, and other portable hand held devices smashing worldwide sales records, tablets are expected to break the 100million mark this year alone. The rise of more advanced ways to access the internet has meant changes now to be made within the design and development process of all websites and WordPress themes.This has led to the rise of Responsive design:

What is Responsive design?

Responsive design is a web design approach popularized by the number of users accessing the internet from a portable device. As this is rapidly increasing it’s making developers and designers rethink the way information being viewed.

Responsive web design crafts sites to provide an optimal viewing experience by working across all screen sizes, from desktop computers to smart phones. Responsive design uses media queries to detect the resolution of the device being used. It uses a combination of flexible images, grids and type to adjust and fit in to the screen of the device it’s being viewed on.

When considering the change over to a Responsive WordPress theme always keep these points in mind:

1. Everything is flexible: your original concept may need to be rendered slightly to consider the best options for different browser sizes. You could try to hide some content and images, this will create a better user experience for smaller devices. Or using a simpler design scheme can help to create a more uniform look when viewed across different devices.

2. Start with a grid: Using a fluid grid can help scale proportionately based on the number of grid stops or percentages. Grids that use stops are very common in responsive design and work beautifully.

3. Consider image size: The quality of images and image load time is highly important, especially for those viewing your website via their smart phone – as bandwidth is typically limited.

4. Type must be Responsive: The most important point to consider is that line length is key. To maintain readability, do not optimise your typography according to screen width, 50-75 characters is ideal for larger screens. This drops to 35-50 characters for line on smart phone devices.

5. Navigation: Drop down navigations does not work well for touch screen devices. However, more simple forms of navigation are strongly recommended and is a key feature in Responsive design.

Responsive Design and SEO

Anyone building a website or WordPress blog for sales, branding or for self-exposure, a responsive web design can help improve search engine optimization  This is because a responsive design will only live in one place with only one URL. Any redirects do not take away from the main website or advertising campaigns.

Everything points in one location.

Responsive design appears to be the answer to cater for the ever changing and innovative technology that’s introduced several times a year.

For a blogger to be design savvy and code literate it tough, this shouldn’t compromise your need to use a responsive design on your site. If you use WordPress then we have a treat for you. Rather than investing in hiring a designer to revamp your website, you could implement one of our responsive WordPress themes.

They are designed to re-size and cater for all screen sizes!

The Importance of a Website’s Design

The Importance of a Website's DesignFirst impressions count, just like many other things in life the impression a user will get of a website will first come from the way the site looks. A study conducted by Dr. Gitte Lindgaard at Carleton University in Ontario showed that most users will form an opinion about a website within 1/20th of a second, which means the design of a website is very important when it comes to its success.

This doesn’t mean that the look of a website is the only thing that matters, and will be the only thing that keep visitors coming back time after time. However, being that it will be the first thing visitors see and will be what they form their initial opinion on. It better be a visually pleasing design.

When it comes to site design it best to leave it to the professionals or at least really take your time and think things through.

What does this mean?

In particular this means think about what is being placed in the design and whether it really needs to be there. Does it improve the design or turn it into a cluttered mess?

Professional web designers will keep in mind that users will look at certain part of a web page expecting to see a specific element, and they know that if the visitor doesn’t see what they want they will quickly become frustrated.

Another important thing to keep in mind is the use of white space, they is such a thing as to much clutter when it comes to a web page. Also it’s important to keep in mind that to much white space isn’t good either. There’s a fine line that must be found and stuck to when it comes to designing a web page.

In the coming days and weeks, I’ll be putting together more posts, better describing the proper way to plan out and design a web site. Covering positioning of elements on a web page, choosing the right colors, and discovering who the audience of the website will be. So be sure to add the blog to your feed reader so you can keep up with all the latest and greatest news and info.