3 Common Misconceptions about Responsive Web Design
Every so often, a new word or phrase appears in the web design industry that trends all across the internet. The current popular phrase is ‘responsive web design’, and has been gaining a lot of importance.
Responsive web design has become a key part of website design with the increase in mobile phones and tablet devices. A website now needs to look suitable on a wide range of devices, from a 30 inch PC monitor to a small mobile screen; keeping a standard look across varying platforms. As so much information about responsive web design has appeared, our websites Wigan team have had a look at what it isn’t.
Identical websites across different devices
A common misconception about responsive web design is that it means that your website looks exactly the same on any device while scaling depending upon the screen size.
In reality, it is not possible to fit everything you would see on a 30 inch monitor down onto the screen of a small phone, and some things are going to have to be cut out – namely content. Often it is graphics or images that should get hidden as they can take up a lot of space and often look bad when displayed on small devices.
A method of saving time
A good example of a time saver is CSS – a quick change of a colour code and the entire website can change in how it looks, saving the time of editing many individual pages.
Although it can save time in some ways, as previously a different design would be needed for every different version of a website to be displayed correctly on various devices, whereas now you can design one page to base the look of all variations upon. However the design still needs to be tested on every device to ensure quality control, and this can be time-consuming.
A major issue when using a website can be long loading times. When viewing a website, users are generally quite impatient and will become frustrated if a website takes a long time to load. Putting a lot of effort into making your website look great is worthless if people leave your website before they look at it properly.
Be conscious of any large images on smaller, mobile devices. While the images may be hidden, they’re still there and still need to be downloaded from the website.
Does the effort pay off?
The majority of mobile users do prefer to read news and text based content through web browsers as opposed to applications, making the ability to view content across these devices quite important.
In time, responsive web design will be improved and overcome or trivialise the problems associated with it. For now though, it’s important to take all these things into consideration when designing and creating a responsive website.
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