Like most industries, website design has many buzzwords and jargon to wade through that might not always make much sense. One such term is responsive web design, but what exactly is it? This blog post will delve into responsive website design and why you need to care as a small business owner.
Any small business website should aim to present your business to the online community in a positive manner, help your business be found for your goods and services and help you attract more customers. How your website is designed affects this, more so when it comes to it being accessed on a plethora of devices of all shapes and sizes! Responsive website design is the process of designing your website so that it can be viewed as intended on as many of these devices as possible.
Responsive website design goes beyond just how a website looks on a device but how users interact with it and how well it caters to the viewer’s needs. If your website is designed correctly, it should be optimised for as many device sizes as possible, from desktops and laptops to tablets and mobiles. This ensures that your website visitors get the best user experience possible, irrespective of how they interact with your website.
What Are the Benefits of a Responsive Website?
Depending on your sector, the number of website visitors accessing your website on mobile devices can be as high as 85%. This is more prevalent if your B2C – where is always on the higher end of the scale. This does not mean if you are B2B, you should ignore responsive website design, as it has other impacts too. Data we have collected here at E2E Studios has shown that the device range on which visitors access websites is vast, with one of our client’s websites being accessed on over 500 different screen resolutions!
If your website is designed to be responsive, the benefits can be instrumental in its success, as it has a positive effect on the following:
5 Quick Tips for Responsive Web Design
If you are looking for quick wins and to make your website more responsive and user-friendly, we have listed our top 5 tips below that are always good places to make changes.
Fonts play a big part in website design, yet they are often an afterthought for most website owners. Using the wrong font can ruin the aesthetics of your website and make it harder to read. Use the wrong font size, and you risk making your website less responsive on mobile devices. If a user has to zoom in or out to be able to read your content, then you are adding a barrier between them and your content – which hurts their experience. This should be avoided where possible, and a clear-to-read and correctly sized-font should be selected. Some of our favourites here at E2E are:
Image size and formats significantly impact website design, from its loading times to how it can be viewed on devices. A non-responsive image can impact your site in several ways, such as:
File size too large – makes your website load slower.
Wrong image size – takes up too much of the screen or is not big enough to see.
Incorrect format – you should use WebP where possible for website images.
Several free tools can help you with website images such as TinyPNG and Smush. We have detailed more details about the impact of images on website design in another one of our blogs here.
One of the most common issues website users face is non-responsive or hard-to-use navigation. Everything from where you place your hamburger to how many menu options you have on display can affect the overall responsiveness of your website. It can be better to use calls to action or in-content links than to have too many menu options, and as a rule of thumb, nothing on your website should be more than three clicks away from your homepage to prevent user frustration.
Animation and moving objects are great for catching a user’s attention, but they do not always work as well on mobile devices as on laptops or desktops. They can also significantly impact loading times and Core Web Vitals. Before adding any animations to your website, test how they will affect the overall experience on mobile or tablet devices. If it is slowing your site down or causing the general page to reload/move, consider removing them.
Stick to Minimalist Design
A critical factor in responsive web design is keeping things minimal; a user can only see so much on a smaller screen. Often we visit websites where most of the design will either be compressed, making it hard to see or moved further down the page, resulting in increased scrolling for the user. Keeping the overall layout and how users interact with the content is paramount for a responsive website and a better user experience.
How to Check If Your Website Is Responsive
There are many tools on the market to test the mobile responsiveness of your website but most come with a price tag involved. A free one is from Google themselves and can be found at search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly. You need to enter the URL of the page needing to be tested, and it will run a test and give you a result.
You can also get data on which pages are mobile-friendly and which are not in Google Search Console if you have this set up. If you do not, we suggest setting this up, as Google will email you anything causing issues on your website based on real user interactions with the site.
How Can E2E Studios Help?
Here at E2E Studios, we are experts in mobile-friendly and responsive web design. We have dedicated website designers, web developers and SEO experts who combine their skills to create functional and well-designed websites that help your business reach new goals online. If you need a new website or work on an existing one, speak to the team today!