While killer content can attract an audience, you need more than that to get people to choose your site over your competitors’ and stay with you for the long-term. So, it’s key to remember that your readers will be accessing your site from a variety of devices that include laptops, tablets, smartphones and desktops and that you will need a clean, responsive display that will be consistent across all the different types of screens.
And that is where responsive design comes in.
But what actually is responsive design?
A site with responsive design is essentially one that implements properties that are displayed dynamically. This means that the content provided on-screen is able to adapt to the various devices and their differing capabilities your audience will be using. Essentially, your content needs to fit a wide range of screen sizes, not to mention, be able to be presented across both high-res and low-res screens.
So how do you develop a site that features responsive design?
Well, it is going to take a bit of time and work; however, once you have it, your readers will greatly appreciate your site’s aesthetic and user-friendliness and it will make the extra effort easily worth it. Also, as you go through these steps, just keep in mind that these are meant to be a starter point for you. You will want to enhance what you learn her by doing further research search on each step mentioned, that is how you ultimately create a site with a great responsive design.
Now, without further ado, here are six steps on how to implement responsive design when you are either building your site or giving the pages on an existing one an overhaul.
Start with a Viewport
The purpose of the viewport is to tell your browser how content should be scaled. It is a meta descriptor element in HTML5 and is a key component when creating a site with responsive design.
So for example, say you want your site to be able to be displayed on varying devices that would present your page under a variety of widths. Begin with stating that your viewport should be able to handle any width. After that, state what you would like the normal zoom to be. By doing this, your pages will be shown in a well-fitting, smooth manner.
Go for a Layout Pattern that is Responsive
Solid designs are crucial for a website developer. And while you might run the risk or repetitive designs or monotony, by utilizing design patterns that are responsive, the process will be simplified and you will save yourself a lot of headaches. All you have to do is select one that you know will work and you will be in great shape.
The one aspect you need to be cautious with though is if a particular design layout is in fact right for your content. However, you will have the ability to create a fluid page, thus allowing your content to simply adjust its fit to a screen. Additionally, you can use ‘dropping’ to switch around content columns which cause a page to re-arrange itself, and will allow you to achieve the same results.
With CSS styling, media queries can help you control how your content will be presented based on the type of screen it is on. When using queries, you can choose the characteristics that will be displayed responsively based on the intended device.
Breakpoints Should Be Inserted to Fit Content
With the media queries factored in, you know should think about where you want to insert your breakpoints. A correct responsive design allows for roughly 10 words a line, which correspond to 600px width under most cases for smaller screened devices.
And although content creation can be a demanding thing, you should still only insert breakpoints if you have tested them on a target device. It is subjective where you put them and you will then get to view how your content appears on a variety of screen sizes. One thing to remember, though, when you are developing a site, you will need to test out your breakpoints on a minimum of three devices. Go with screens most commonly uses such as a tablet, desktop, mobile
Decides If Using Images Is Necessary
You want your content to have some spark, and multimedia is the way to get it. The problem is though that this is where things can get tricky and inserting video, image, audio…etc. can require a lot of bandwidth in order for the design to remain responsive. So to keep things simple, if a CSS alternative is available, use it. However, if it is not, you can always optimize.
Correctly Sized Videos Are a Must
If the goal for your site is to provide information, then by all means, using videos are a great way to go. They present content in a way that is easiest for your audience to absorb, but they must be responsive. Furthermore, with legacy platforms, the type of support required for certain video formats might not be available, so be sure to check first to see if your chosen video content will even play.
Additionally, it is important to use videos that are correctly sized. For whatever particular platform you are using, you will need your video’s frame size and responsive quality to be adequate. Furthermore, stay away from clips that are unnecessarily long. Knowing this, think about making use of an attribute, it will allow your video to fit into the type of screen type you are using.
Where to Go From Here
Keep in mind that the steps that have been laid out here are meant to provide a starting point or framework for implementing the responsive design into your website. Thus, you will want to view each step as an arrow pointing you in the right direction to learn as much as you can about the design process in order to create a design that allows extremely smooth interaction between your readers and your site’s content. But, do not let yourself get overwhelmed, just relax and start with the basics. As long as you stay focused on improving your site, you will soon turn it into a flawless viewing experience.
About the author: Dante Munnis is a content manager and writer on trustmypaper.com. He likes to write posts on different tech topics.
This blog is listed under Development & Implementations Community