Responsive Web Design - Best Practices

Responsive Web Design: Best Practices

It’s become a necessary skill of the aspiring designer to bear responsive web pages in mind. 50% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. This isn’t something that can be ignored. Responsive designs are a requirement for websites now.

With that having been said let’s look at some of the best practices regarding responsive designs. 

Make Sufficient “Tap Targets”

One of the biggest reasons that a mobile design doesn’t work well is the insufficient size of what we know as “tap targets”. For desktop, we can just use regular links since the cursor has finer controls. For mobile, though, the cursor is the human finger. We need to be sure that users have plenty of space to tap on when using the navigation or clicking on-page buttons / CTAs. 

Using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs)

SVGs are the new logo standard on the internet and doubly-so for responsive mobile layouts. This format is smaller than the conventional .jpg or web-friendly .png, and it can be scaled more easily without visible artifacts or distortion. This is most useful for simpler images without texture, like brand logos or navigation icons. 

Use the Hamburger Menu

The Hamburger menu gets its name from the icon used to represent it. This menu format works well on desktop too, but it’s most common on mobile devices for scalable layouts. Having a hidden menu allows you to insert more navigation links and de-prioritize a little bit. Since the navigation is hidden until the user wants to access it, you can take more liberties with how many targets you provide.

Consider Flat Design

Since the surge of minimalism in web design, flat templates are all the rage now. This makes it easier to design responsive experiences that scale well. Compositions with more color and texture are difficult to size up and down efficiently. Using flat colors without texture can create a cohesive experience between desktop and mobile. It also gives you a more modern look, which can make you more competitive in the current market. 

Prioritize the Content Differently 

Mobile designs are going to display the site’s content differently. While on a desktop you would have a hero banner, side-bar, and central area for content, you don’t get all that space on a mobile device. You’ll need to redesign how your content flows vertically since users will be spending a lot of time scrolling. You’ll have to look at new image layouts, dimensions, and placements. 

This is a good thing, though. While it may seem like a lot of work, it naturally forces your content to the user if you adhere to the limitations of mobile web design. 

Take Advantage of AMP

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages initiative is an open-source solution that allows you to improve your SEO ranking. Sites with responsive designs garner better rankings from Google, and their AMP project makes it easy to integrate with various content management systems. Alternatively, you can learn how to make AMP-compliant pages from scratch on their website. This would be a pretty significant step for improving your site’s SEO.

5 Ways Responsive Web Design Benefits Your SEO

1.Time on Site

After you click on a google link, Google can track the time that a user is inside a site, this usually is to monitor or scan the activity and the interest of users.

It might not be the best implementation in case of privacy, but Google makes the business world go round for a reason. Since Google can monitor this activity, you want your web page to look good and be able to do so on any device.

Users want sites that look good in any device; a well-designed website is necessary to gain the user’s trust; a sketchy site is never well designed or programmed.

2. Site Optimization

One other of the critical factors in Google ranking is web page optimization, the faster your website is, the better. Reliable sites are known to be fast; Google favors any well-designed pages; good web design practices will always be privileged in Google’s ranking system.

3. Duplicate Content

An alternative to responsive design is a separate mobile page; this creates a completely separate page, with the exact content.

Duplicate content does not help search engines at all, and it also goes against all of the good practices for programming, duplicate code is not anything a good developer would want to do.

Although Google claims there is no duplicate content penalty, though independent studies show that it may have a negative effect on a website ranking. So, in conclusion, it is best to use responsive design instead of duplicating content, it is better for storage, resource and SEO purposes.

You can read Google guidelines about duplicate content here.

4. Easy Sharing

A big part of Google ranking depends on the pre-existent site traffic.

Traffic is one of the most influential factors in SEO; most pages start in social media, shared by users to their inner circle, the quality of a page will always attract more attention and good word.

If a website is well optimized and looks good in any platform, it is guaranteed to attract more audience, and in result a better SEO.

5. Mobile User Dominance

In the last reason, we talked about page traffic; we know the great importance it has in our web page ranking.

Taking into consideration that in the last decade; mobile navigation has skyrocketed to a point where desktop traffic is becoming less than mobile. The number of active smartphone users is growing by the second, making responsive sites even more important. 

There will come a time where small devices are much more predominant than the desktop version, making mobile the new standard size.

Conclusion

The importance of SEO is huge for any type of company and determines the success depending on the type of business.

As we can observe, responsive web design is one big pillar of the many things that we can do to enhance our SEO. SEO is based on many factors that we can modify to our benefit, always remember to implement good development practices, as the work will always pay off.

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