The Basic Tenets and Principles of “Responsive” Website Design

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What makes a good website? Is it the webpage's color patterns, landing pages, navigation bars, or call-to-action-buttons? Or is it its utility and responsiveness? Well, the truth is that all these answers are correct, although responsiveness has been an added quality of today's websites, as people spend an average of 3.3 hours a day engaging with the Internet on their smartphones. This radical shift in consumer behavior means that it is no longer enough to have websites that only work with the usual desktop PC. Read on to learn more about the basic tenets and principles of responsive web design.

Responsive Web Design Considers the Type of Device People Use to Visit Websites

The first basic tenet or principle of responsive Brisbane website design is that it considers what type of device the visitor uses to access the website on the Internet. This web design concept adjusts how web content is displayed or shown according to the size or dimensions of the device or gadget's screen.

This is opposite to unresponsive website design, wherein the design page is readable on a desktop browser but is tiny and unreadable on a smartphone or gadget. By being responsive, the web developer need not focus on specific display sizes but will design a website that automatically fits or adopts various display sizes.

Responsive Web Design Has 3 Major Components

According to Brisbane website design experts, designing responsive websites comes with 3 major aspects or components, and these include flexible layouts, flexible media, and media queries. With flexible layouts, designers utilize a flexible grid to build a website layout that automatically resizes or fits any width.

Inflexible media, images, video, fonts, and other formats are easy to scale. Media queries enable website developers to create different styles that are tailor-fit for specific browsers and devices or gadgets.

Responsive Web Design is anchored on User Experience & Site Performance

A website's responsiveness is mainly anchored around user experience and website performance. For starters, this makes images and text easier to view or read, especially for smartphones and gadgets that have smaller screens.

Responsive web design also indicates to most search engines that the web page is fully optimized for all types of viewing experiences, which also leads to better search engine rankings. In fact, Google in 2015 noted that mobile responsiveness will become a key aspect in defining search engine rankings and popularity.

The Many Benefits of Responsive Web Design

Since most people today do not just access a website using a desktop computer, Brisbane website design professionals stress that a webpage must be easy to access from a wide array of screens, whether it's just a few inches all the way to a 27-inch or even 45-inch screen!

Another great thing about getting a truly responsive website is that it makes search engines like Google very happy because it helps reduce or eliminate duplicate or repetitive content. For example, instead of having a website designed for desktop computers, and having a separate desktop for mobile devices (which have the “m.” prefix), you will now only have one flexible website which easily scales or fits any mobile device!

Responsive web development also improves a site's usability, which means that the website can now easily target a larger number of screen sizes. This also means that whether you're accessing the Worldwide Web on an iPhone or a Samsung tablet, the website will still remain pretty (and useful) on all platforms.

Websites that are responsive are also great for building links and reducing maintenance issues. For example, if you are spending a lot of money on search engine optimization (SEO) with maintaining two so-so websites which separately index in the search engines, it would be much better to set your sights on making one website amazing.  

The Ups and Downs of Responsive Web Design

In general, most  Brisbane website design experts agree that responsive website development is both an effective and economical approach. However, they stress that one can still run into a few potholes or roadblocks, especially if one uses it without forethought. Let's look at the ups and downs of responsive web design.

For the upsides, responsive web development is relatively inexpensive and quite easy to roll out or implement. Second, it is friendly in an SEO manner, and it actively promotes simpleness and minimalism in design.

Now, for the perceived downsides or cons of responsive website design. First, naysayers say that there's less control over the design's screen sizes, and the elements can easily shift on their own. Second, there could be problems or issues with advertisement formats, there could be quite longer load times on certain mobile devices or gadgets.

Third, there could be some complications to the front-end code which is required to scale or fit the content. However, if the web designer follows the best practices then he or she would be able to steer clear of these perceived flaws or pitfalls.

The Future Bodes Well for Responsive Website Development

And as a popular adage goes, “anything worth having takes hard work”. This means that designing responsive websites takes some effort and hard work too. So, if the web designer does things right, the ensuing website should be efficient, cost-effective, and appealing both on the aesthetic and technical fronts.

The website's layout also easily adjusts on the fly to hundreds, or even thousands, of screen sizes where the information can be displayed on. And with a little design tweak based on thoughtful user experience, a truly responsive website will be able to present content and deliver an amazing overall experience for a wide-reaching user base!

With smartphones, tablets, phablets, and other small devices outpacing the beloved (but oversized) desktop, the potentials for responsive web design are absolutely endless, and this should make the overall web experience truly impactful (and delightful) one for everyone.