In today's mobile dominating the landscape, businesses need to adopt an approach that can help them expand their reach to mobile users as well. This is where a responsive web design (RWD) approach comes in handy. A responsive design makes a website accessible across all the major devices. However, creating a truly responsive design remains one of the biggest challenges among designers. In fact, some of the novice designers often follow wrong practices that end up doing more harm than good to their website.
In this post, I've pointed out some of the most commonly made responsive design mistakes that you need to avoid at all cost.
Ignoring the Navigation Part
While your desktop website users are accustomed to viewing all the navigational items, however, it's not a good idea to present your mobile users with all the navigational items. This can drive your visitors away from your site. Remember that the space on a mobile device screen is limited, and so you'll need to ensure that your visitors get access to the most important navigational items. You can address such a need, by hiding the least relevant items in the main navigation bar.
In order to hide the navigation items, you can make use of signs such as “+” or “-” sign that when clicked expand or contract the navigation menu. In fact, many sites are making use of the hamburger icon to hide the navigational items. For example: In the screenshot beside, image (on the left) there is a hamburger icon is visible that opens up the menu when it is being clicked.
Related article: Responsive Web Design: Menu Vs. Sidebar
Designing for Desktop First, Mobile Second
Many web developers believe that when creating a web design from the ground up, they should create it based on desktop users' needs first, and can adjust the as per a responsive design at a later stage. But, keep in mind that following such a process will most likely cause errors and would require you to do lots of rework. Moreover, it can even consume a substantial amount of your time.
Therefore, you should consider designing for the mobile first and desktop second. This is because, a perfectly designed mobile design will easily adjust according to the desktop screen. Twitter Bootstrap is highly recommended by developers and if you like to adopt here is a useful article on How to Change Breakpoints with Bootstrap.
Not Providing Touch Screen Experience
As you may know that the majority of the modern devices use the touchscreen capability to make it easy for users to navigate across a site using any mobile device in a seamless manner. Not considering to provide touch screen experience via your responsive web design will create a negative impact on your visitors and they might not re-visit your site again. And so, it becomes needful for developers to design the mobile website with touch-enabled gestures.
For instance, you should ensure that your users are able to “zoom in” and “zoom out” of the device.
Not Paying Due Attention to Creating a Great UI
You may choose to compress the content of your desktop website and embed it within a mobile version of your website. But, doing so can damage the overall user interface experience. And so, it becomes imperative to create a UI that works according to the limited space on a mobile device.
For example, you can consider using large-size CTAs (call to actions) and hide the rest of the content from mobile users in the product page, or can use dropdown menus instead of displaying all the items of the main navigation to save space and so on.
Albeit, you've created an amazing, responsive design with advanced functionalities, your design might still fail to succeed if it loads slowly. Simply put, often we become so involved with creating a well-designed and highly functional responsive website that we forget about factors that can increase your website load time when accessed on a mobile device.
For instance, displaying more than required information on the mobile version of your site can make your site run slowly. In addition, adding too many images can increase the page loading time. Fortunately, there are several tools available online that can help you analyze the speed of your website. In case, your site isn't performing as expected make sure to remove any unnecessary bloat from the mobile site.
When working on a responsive website development project, you might make mistakes that can ruin your website. In this post, you'll find 5 common, responsive design mistakes that you should avoid in creating a perfect responsive website.