Responsive Web Design and Digital Evolution
Responsive web design refers to optimising a webpage’s elements to help them adjust and function properly across all screen resolutions. With more and more people having smartphones in South Africa, this practice has become critical. In this article, we are going to understand what a responsive website design is.
In the past, designing a website used to be simpler. Phones did not have internet access. And so, we only had to design a website for a standard desktop/laptop’s aspect ratio. But as smartphones started dominating the market in the last decade, the picture changed. Smartphones come in various sizes. Besides, there are other variants such as tablets. They all share a different aspect ratio and resolution than a monitor screen. If you were to load an unoptimised website on a smartphone, it would take a lot of time and data just to load your website and it would still function poorly. This is where responsive web design comes in.
There are no alternatives to responsive web design. Custom-building a website towards different sets of users is not only impractical, but it’s also nearly impossible. You will be at the disadvantage in terms of monitoring, design consistency, and budget. But with responsive web design practices, you can simply provide a single design across all the devices. The advantages are given below.
It is also important to note that you need some CSS coding knowledge if you want to do responsive website design for yourself. CSS determines how your HTML code will function on the website. It is often recommended to take the help of a professional and Digital Lime Green can help you.
Types of Responsive Web Design
There are mainly three types of responsive web design.
- Fluid Grid
- Responsive or Adaptive Grid
- Hybrid: A mix of both mentioned above.
Fluid Grid Web Design
If you search a little about responsive web design on the internet, you may come across the term called ‘fluid grid’. Grid in this term is nothing but your website’s layout. In simple words, it refers to the adaptive layout that adjusts and fits across devices with any resolution. Your website elements are distributed on a predefined grid. With the help of CSS, you can make the layout flexible to scatter and reorganise elements across different screen resolutions. This is what they call a fluid grid. The below diagram is a basic example to understand how a fluid grid functions.
Developing your website completely with the fluid grid is no simple task. It is very tedious and time-consuming. This is why designers mostly go for adaptive/responsive or the hybrid version of it.
If you are interested in knowing how the fluid grid is coded in CSS, W3schools has compiled a great article about it. Take a look here. You may create your own fluid grid from scratch or there are free pre-defined fluid grids available on the internet.
More technical information about Fluid Grids here: Fluid Grid Layout Creation For Responsive Web Design
Responsive/Adaptive Grid Design
In this grid, the blocks are predefined and static. Unless met a certain screen resolution condition, these blocks won’t change their size either. These static blocks have fixed widths defined in pixels. The pixel threshold at which the static blocks change is called a breakpoint.
When the breakpoint conditions are achieved, the blocks will rearrange themselves to deliver a better user experience to visitors.
This youtube channel – Davide Ciambelli – explains the difference in a nutshell. Give this video a watch for a visual understanding of the two designs.
Advantages of Responsive Web Design
1. Wider Audience
With responsive web design, you can target audiences across multiple devices. Here, multiple devices refer to a variety of smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets. Responsive web design allows you to create one single website for all of them. This way, it is cost-effective and less time consuming, as you don’t have to create multiple designs for multiple different devices.
2. Better conversion rate and lower bounce rates
If you are using responsive web design, your audience will be able to access your website from any device. As you get to tap into a wider audience, it also improves your overall conversion rate. This convenience of availability will be helpful for you. Also, a well functional website on small screens means users are likely going to stay and browse more on your website and not ‘bounce them off’. Bounce rate refers to users visiting your site, but due to some issue, they quickly go away.
3. Consistency with design and branding
With responsive web design, you don’t have to create a separate website for mobile users. This means all the theme and branding elements you have used in your original website can be shown on mobile devices as well. Consistency in branding and design will help you retain your visitors more and create a good impression. People trust consistency in the brand they love, so make sure yours does too. And more importantly, you do not have to pay extra to design the exact same content again to target audiences on different platforms.
4. Easier to monitor analytics
One website for all devices makes it easier to monitor analytics. You are not making two or three separate websites for different platforms. This means you are not monitoring two or three different analytics. Analytics are important to measure your website’s performance, and it’s certainly easier to monitor one website than two or three different websites of the same content.
If you are looking for how to use Google Analytics for your website, feel free to take a look here.
5. Faster pages
Given a responsive web design’s nature, it should load fewer elements on a small screen. That means you also improve the loading page time for your website. This also helps with your SEO score. Faster loading pages matter in having a better ranking SEO. Studies show that if a website does not load within the first 3 seconds, the visitors are likely going to go away (source: Website Builder Expert). If your page is fast, you are also likely going to improve traffic for your website. Also, it also helps in reducing the bounce rate.
Responsive web design is really an adaptive technology that helps with reducing costs, maintaining consistency, providing a good UX, and boost your SEO. With smartphones dominating the market, responsive web design has become a necessity. If you are interested in exploring the technical side of responsive web design, we have some articles for you:
Digital Lime Green can also provide effective responsive web design solutions for your website. We provide quality website design and digital marketing solutions in Cape Town, South Africa.
To know more about our website design services, click here.
Or, you can contact us for any queries or getting a quote. Feel free to reach out to us!
We wish you good luck with your online business!