What we learned about responsive design (RWD) by analyzing 362 projects
What we learned about responsive design (RWD) by analyzing 362 projects
Can you believe that we’ve executed 362 responsive design projects? Not only have we developed and tested responsive websites, but we’ve also fixed responsive design issues on several websites.
To show and verify our results, we use a number of third-party tools. Using third-party testing tools helps us to save time and conflict with clients. Also, as a practical matter, it is not possible to have different devices to check and share with the client.
Today, we will share with you a few third-party authentication tools we use to test a responsive design. Before we share these tools with you, let us explain what is meant by a responsive design.
Table of Contents
What is responsive web design (RWD)?
According to Wikipedia , “Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)”
Let us consider our website www.web3solution.com. We have made the website responsive. That means when users open the website on an iPhone, a smartphone, an iPad or a desktop, they observe the website the way we want it to display.
The desktop version
Desktop Web Design Version
The iPad version
Optimized iPad Version
The iPhone version
Optimized iPhone Friendly Version
If you carefully look at these three versions, you will see that we have modified different elements to take into account the resolution and the device. For example, we hide the like buttons from the header section on the iPhone version. We also keep the main call-to-action button on the first fold of the website.
“Content is like water”, a saying that illustrates the principles of RWD.
When optimizing websites, we pay attention to both the user experience and conversion optimization. Our CSS code experts also ensure that the loading time of the website is fast (less than 3 seconds). This is a part of loading time optimization.
Responsive Design Testing Tools
Here is a list of free tools you can use to test your responsive website, theme, form, template, email, layout and blog.
This tool is effective if you want to test your website for specific devices and in different resolutions. Some of the devices are 10” to 15” note, 19” to 24” desktop, Kindle Fire HD, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, Apple iPad, Apple iPhone, Blackberry 8300, ASUS Galaxy 7, Motorola RAZR, 480p to 1080p Television.
Quirktools: Responsive Web Design Tester
You can also use customized resolutions to test your website. Before using this tool, first check your traffic source through Google Analytics and find the devices which drive maximum traffic for your website and optimize your website accordingly.
You need to use your resources effectively, in order to generate the maximum ROI.
If you only want to test your website on an iPhone, this is a great free tool to use. You can use horizontal and vertical mode to test the website.
iPhone5simulator: Mobile Responsive Website Testing Tool
Why you need a responsive design for your business?
There are several reasons why you should have a responsive web design layout or template. Here are the top 5 reasons:
Google gives priority to mobile-friendly websites. On February 26th, 2015 Google announced the following on its official website:
“Starting on April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high-quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
The number of mobile users is exploding. The number of mobile users overtook fixed-internet access in 2014. The report from comScore shows that we are already past the mobile tipping point and now a behaviour analysis of users on different mobile devices is even more crucial. As per the BBC, “mobile phone penetration is forecast to grow from about 61% of the global population in 2013 to nearly 70% by 2017, those figures can only grow”.
Mobile Vs Desktop Users
Responsive web design increases the conversion rate. As more users are using mobile devices, you need to help users buy your product or service quickly.
“According to the data compiled by the Mobile Marketing Association of Asia, of the nearly 7 billion people worldwide, over 5 billion people own a cell phone, whereas just about 4 billion own a toothbrush” – LinkedIn Pulse
Responsive web design improves user experience (UX). With the proper user experience, you will increase the chances of convincing your prospects to purchase your product. If users can easily browse your website or can place an order quickly, that will help in retaining your customer.
At the end of 2012, over 50 million Americans owned a tablet and 1 of every 3 minutes spent consuming digital media was on a mobile device. With all of this mobile use, having a website that is responsive is becoming a requirement, not an option.” – Echo Surge“
A responsive web design adapts to future devices. Every month, new electronic devices get launched in the market place. These devices have different resolutions, different screen size, etc. It can be very frustrating to constantly have to find the time and the money to fix a website to take these new devices into account. Having a responsive website will resolve all of these issues.
Resources you need to fix this problem.
Here is a list of some of the jobs we do and the type of professionals we use:
For responsive HTML creation: We have pre-vetted developers and designers with over 6 years of working experience. These developers have the knowledge to develop fast loading, browser-compatible (Chrome, Mozilla, Internet Explorer, Safari) HTML pages.
For responsive theme and layout creation: We have expert professionals who can convert PSD to HTML5, CSS3 with responsive layout with 3 tiers (desktop view, tablet view and mobile view). These professionals can add interactivity using jQuery or other technologies for dynamic content.
For responsive HTML email templates: We have experienced professionals who can deliver responsive email templates, browser compatibility, image optimization, loading time optimization.
To ensure your developer provides quality work, you can ask a few questions.
Ask 6 questions before hiring a good responsive developer (RWD).
Q1. Ask to check the developers’ references and portfolio of mobile-friendly websites.
Q2. Ask developers what they know in regards to your website’s mobile users.
Q3. Ask developers to give a commitment to your website’s speed.
Q4. Ask developers to install analytics on your website if you have not installed any already.
Q2. Will desktop and tablet ranking also be affected by Google’s update?
No. Google’s update on April 21st affected searches from mobile devices across all locations and languages. This update has no impact on searches from desktops and tablets.
Q3. Is this update a site-level or page-level mobile ranking boost?
This is a page-level change. If 2 pages on your website are mobile-friendly and the rest are not, then only those 2 pages will see a positive impact for this Google update.
Q4. If I am targeting desktop users only, do I need a mobile-friendly website?
Statistics show that more users are going for “mobile-only”. As a result, a non-mobile-friendly website may not see many visitors from mobile users.
The mobile-friendly update from Google is impacting mobile searches across all sites, regardless of the site’s target audience, region, language or percentage of mobile to desktop traffic. So, eventually, you will lose traffic.
Google suggests a minimum of 7mm width/height for primary tap targets (e.g. buttons, form fields, or links) and a minimum margin of 5mm between secondary tap targets.
To make the screen real estate effective, keep in mind that the average width of an adult’s finger pad is 10mm.
Q6. To become mobile-friendly quickly, we’re thinking of creating separate mobile pages until our new responsive site is complete. Do you foresee any problems with this?
Be cautious about creating a “stripped down” version of your website. The page may be mobile-friendly, but the user experience can be poor. It may be frustrating for users when they attempt to complete the desired task.
A temporary mobile website can be a solution and once the responsive site (RWD) is live, you will need to move the site properly. You will need to update links and place a 301 redirection for any URL change.
Q7. We have pages showing mobile usability errors due to an embedded YouTube video. What can we do?
If you are using the “old-style”
Q8. How much does it cost to build a mobile-friendly website?
It varies! If you have the skills to make your website responsive or if you select a responsive template or theme, then your cost is zero. To hire a professional developer, it will cost time and money. Our experts charge $18 per hour.
Q9. I want to build a website. What 3 things should I keep in mind?
Make the website easy to use for all users.
Your mobile users should feel it is easy to execute a task on a mobile device.
Go for a responsive design (RWD). Select a mobile template, layout, theme or design for all devices.
Q10. What are the top 3 common mistakes beginners need to avoid?
Beginners often forget about mobile customers.
Beginners build a mobile version of the desktop version on a different domain, subdomain or subdirectory instead of RWD.
Beginners often forgot to look around to get inspiration.
If you are looking for a responsive design checker and are not sure about the sizes, dimensions or layout sizes you need to choose for various responsive design devices, then the three responsive design testing tools mentioned earlier can be effective.
Using these tools, you can check the website across different devices and can share feedback easily with your development team.
If you are totally new to building a mobile-friendly website, you can ask our experts. We learn when you ask a question, so don’t hesitate to ask us.