Where are you right now? Are you on the train or sitting in a coffee shop? Look around. How many people are on their phones around you? Heck, there’s a good chance that you’re reading this on your phone! In 2018, it was reported that 52.2% of all web traffic came from a mobile device. Which explains why nearly everyone you can see right now is peering at their phones.
Consumers are clearly spending as much time searching the web on their phones as they are on their desktops. But when it comes to the design of a website, how much do you think this data point impacts the form and function of the site? A LOT. That is why we design websites for desktop, tablet and mobile all at the same time via responsive designs.There are a few things you need to keep in mind when viewing responsive designs. Here are some of the basics:
Embrace Living in Constraints
While a website’s design must be equally cool on mobile, know that it won’t be able to have all the bells and whistles that are on the site’s desktop version. As you scale your website down to a smaller screen, remember that you’re going to have to lose features like hover, overlapping layouts, some video components and sometimes entire images or copy blocks. To put your mind at ease in losing some of these functions, keep in mind a user’s mindset changes entirely when browsing on a mobile device. The goal is to reduce how long he/she has to scroll to find what he/she is looking for, and to make the site as readable and easy to navigate as possible. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
You Can’t Control Everything
Even when we do design a website that looks incredible on mobile, tablet and desktop, sometimes there are things simply not controllable. Individual’s settings like the width of a user’s browser window, the version of their browser, the resolution of their screen, and other preferences always impact how a site is viewed within that combination. The best approach is to make sure the responsive site has breaks and rules that make the site look as good as possible for the things that are within your control.
Monitor Your Mobile Traffic
Sometimes tough design decisions have to be made when going from mobile to desktop. Features that work really well on one might not work on the other. If you ever find yourself in one of these binds, take a look at your Google Analytics and compare the traffic you get on each device. While the overall mobile traffic is 52.2%, it might not shake down that way for your business. If your mobile traffic is only 10% and there’s a feature that works great on desktop but isn’t ideal on mobile, it’s okay to make a small sacrifice. As long as you weigh your options and make informed decisions, you can’t go wrong.
Do you have questions about responsive design and mobile traffic on your website? We’d love to hear them! Email us at [email protected]