Responsive Sites – How and Why

Why you need a responsive website

Technology is developing rapidly, and equipment manufacturers are not far behind them. Smartphones, tablets, TVs, and other electronic devices connected to the Internet are available for every taste and budget, and there are many screen size options.

At the same time, content consumption is increasing exponentially. In the struggle for a client, site owners use all means and methods. In particular, at the development stage, they could correctly display their web resource on various devices.

The number of devices allowing you to view information online is growing yearly. A variety of formats and resolutions complicate the development process as a whole; additional requirements must be considered at all stages: designers, layout designers, and programmers.

The concept of adaptive design allows you to streamline the process since you do not need to create several variants of sites, as was the case with mobile versions in the past. In that case, a separate set of functions was designed on a different subdomain.

Old sites need to be improved, and various adaptable approaches allow this to be realized. The main thing is to assess the scale at the start correctly; sometimes, it is easier, faster, and cheaper to use new design layouts and templates. If your corporate identity is not a recognizable brand, the fact that it is morally obsolete often pushes you to rework it. And rebranding, as a stage of transition to a new level, has not been canceled. A responsive website is a powerful tool for your business.

There are services to check how the site meets the requirements of adaptability.

Moreover, today the most significant search engines, Google and Yandex, consider this parameter when ranking websites. Since usability and navigation are mandatory factors for evaluating the quality of a site. The speed of loading information, and in the case of optimized images, it drops, unreadable text, and distorted elements that are too small or do not fit on the screen make it difficult to find information and lead to an increase in bounces – the user closes the page. These are behavioral factors that also affect the position in the search results.

For site owners, technical terminology and ranking parameters are not entirely clear and tangible criteria. But it is enough for them to understand how this affects attendance dynamics. In many areas, the share of traffic from mobile devices is comparable to and even exceeds desktop traffic. This must be taken into account. It is less and less possible to meet developers who do not offer to adapt the website but navigating this issue to control the process will not hurt.

Principles of adaptability

Threading

Let’s say you’ve designed for desktop browsers. Everything cool. The blocks are shifted and go under each other when viewing this site from a mobile device.

This is called a flow. And now, this is one of the main principles used in responsive design. Consider this.

Unit Relativity

It is known from school physics lessons that the speed can be absolute when, regardless of where you observe the movement from, the speed will be the same. And relative – when the rate can change depending on the reference point.

Same with units of measurement. Different devices have different pixel densities. And the size, for example, 320 px, will look different on a computer and a smartphone screen.

The solution is to use relative units of measurement when you set all sizes, scales, and coordinates of the block close to the element on both the PC screen and the smartphone display—for example, the upper bound.

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Using Breakpoints

These are elements whose location changes only if a particular device with the specified screen parameters is used for viewing.

For example, if the page’s content “creeps away,” it makes sense to add and fix such a point.

Minimum and maximum values

On a mobile phone, the article can be displayed as it should. But here, you open the same page on a widescreen monitor, and the picture does not please you. Everything is stretched out; readability is out of the question.

For example, you can specify properties. If the screen width is less than 1000 pixels, the content should be displayed on the entire screen. Otherwise, the maximum width will be 1000 pixels.

Object nesting

It happens that you need to use many elements that depend on the position of other blocks. It’s hard to control. You can nest such objects in one container. This is suitable for snags you do not want to adapt to screen parameters – buttons, logos, etc.

Correct Fonts

Web fonts look beautiful. But do not forget that they are all loaded. This affects the page loading speed of the user.

Proper use of raster and vector graphics

If the picture has many small details, use a raster format—otherwise, vector.

But not a single picture should be used without optimization – compression. Vector images are usually already compressed. But not all older browsers support them.

Compliance with layout sizes

There are general standards on what basic dimensions it is customary to focus on when developing a layout.

In responsive design, there is such a thing as breakpoints. These are the parameters that are passed in the media functions. Indicate at what resolutions the design changes.

The following are considered standards:

  1. For mobile, 320px, 480 px.
  2. For tablets, 768px.
  3. For netbooks and some tablets, 1024px.
  4. For personal computers, 1280px or more.

Binding to a specific resolution is not hard. Depends on device settings and parameters.

Sometimes there is no need to create a layout for intermediate resolutions, for example, 480px, if the form is displayed correctly in the 768 – 320px.

If the layout “breaks” on a particular gadget is displayed incorrectly at a different resolution, the actual values ​​for this screen are taken as the breakpoints.

What is needed in a website to make it responsive

To make a website responsive, you will need to use responsive design techniques such as flexible layouts, flexible images, media queries, mobile-first design, smart scroll, dark mode standardized, and minimalistic design.

Flexible layouts

Flexible layouts, also known as responsive layouts, are essential to creating a responsive website. A responsive layout is a design that adjusts to the size of the user’s screen, ensuring that the website looks good and is easy to use on a wide range of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones.

Designers and developers use a combination of grid-based layouts, flexible images, and media queries to create a flexible structure.

Grid-based layouts involve dividing the webpage into a series of rows and columns and setting the width of the columns to a percentage of the screen size. This allows the layout to adjust automatically to the screen size so that the elements on the page are always arranged in an organized and visually appealing way.

Flexible images

Flexible images are designed to resize and scale to fit the size of the user’s screen. They are an essential part of creating a responsive website, as they allow the images on the website to look good and be easy to see on any device, from desktop computers to smartphones.

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To create a flexible image, designers and developers use the max-width property in CSS, setting it to 100%. This ensures that the painting will always scale to fit the screen size but will not exceed its original scope.

Flexible images are handy for large, high-resolution images that may not be suitable for smaller screens. By using flexible images, designers and developers can ensure that the photos on their website look good and are easy to see on any device while still preserving the quality and resolution of the original image.

It’s important to use flexible images carefully, as they can cause performance issues if not used correctly. For example, using too many large, high-resolution images on a webpage can cause the page to load slowly, frustrating users. To avoid this issue, it’s a good idea to optimize the web images and use appropriate image file formats, such as JPEG or PNG.

Media queries

Media queries are a feature of CSS that allows designers and developers to apply different styles to a website based on the size of the user’s screen. They are an essential part of creating a responsive website, as they allow the website to adapt to the size of the screen and provide an optimal viewing experience for the user.

To use media queries, designers and developers specify a set of styles that should be applied when certain conditions are met. For example, they might determine that a particular layout should be used when the screen is less than 600 pixels wide or that a specific font size should be used when it is at least 1200 pixels wide.

Media queries can be used to apply styles based on various factors, including the width and height of the screen, the device type, and the device’s orientation. This allows designers and developers to create websites tailored to the specific needs of different devices and screen sizes.

Media queries are essential for creating responsive websites that work well and look good on a wide range of devices.

Mobile-first design

Mobile-first design is a design approach that involves designing a website or application to work well on small screens, such as smartphones, first and then adapting the design for larger screens, such as desktop computers. The goal of mobile-first design is to ensure that the website or application is usable and easy to navigate on all devices, with a particular focus on users’ needs.

There are several reasons why mobile-first design is essential. Firstly, the number of people accessing the Internet on mobile devices is increasing, and websites and applications need to be accessible and easy to use. Secondly, designing for smaller screens first can help focus the design process and ensure that only the most essential elements are included, leading to a more streamlined and effective user experience.

To implement a mobile-first design approach, designers and developers should start by creating a design that works well on small screens and then build up from there, adding additional features and functionality as needed for larger screens. This can involve using responsive design techniques, such as flexible layouts, flexible images, and media queries, to ensure that the website or application looks good and is easy to use on a wide range of devices.

Smart scroll

The smart scroll is a feature that allows a webpage to scroll automatically to a specific point or element when a user arrives at the page. It can be a practical approach to creating responsive websites. It can help direct the user’s attention to a specific page part or navigate to a particular section more quickly.

To implement smart scroll on a responsive website, designers and developers can use a JavaScript library, such as jQuery, to detect when the user has arrived at the page and then programmatically scroll the page to the desired location. Another option is to use the HTML scrollTo method, which allows you to specify the coordinates or elements to scroll to when the page loads.

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Using smart scroll carefully is crucial, as it can disrupt the user’s experience if not implemented properly. For example, if the page scrolls too quickly or unexpectedly, it can disorient the user. It’s also a good idea to provide the user with a way to disable the smart scroll feature if they prefer not to use it.

To ensure that smart scroll works well on a responsive website, it’s essential to test the implementation thoroughly on various devices and screen sizes. This will help ensure that the feature works well and is easy for users on all devices.

Dark mode

The dark mode is a design feature that allows users to switch the color scheme of a website or application from light to dark. It can be a practical approach for creating responsive websites, as it can help to reduce strain on the eyes when using a device in low light conditions, and it can also help to save battery life on devices with OLED displays.

To implement dark mode on a responsive website, designers and developers can use media queries to apply different styles to the website based on the user’s preference for light or dark mode. For example, they might use a media query to apply a dark color scheme to the website when the user has enabled dark mode in their browser or operating system.

It’s essential to use high-contrast colors that are easy to read in both light and dark modes, as this will help ensure that the site’s content is easily legible for users, regardless of which color scheme they prefer.

In addition to using media queries, it’s also a good idea to provide users with an option to switch between light and dark modes within the user interface. This can be done through a toggle button or other control, and it should be prominently displayed so that users can easily find it.

Finally, it’s essential to thoroughly test the dark mode implementation to ensure that it works well and looks good on various devices and screen sizes. This will help to ensure that users have a good experience when using the site or application in dark mode.

Minimalistic design

Minimalistic design can be a practical approach for creating responsive websites, as it helps to focus the user’s attention on the essential design elements and makes sense of simplicity and clarity.

To create a minimalistic, responsive website, designers and developers should use a limited color palette, straightforward typography, and clean, uncluttered layouts. This can involve using grid-based designs and flexible images to ensure that the website adjusts to the size of the screen and looks good on any device.

It’s also important to use white space effectively, as this can help to create a sense of simplicity and focus. Using large amounts of white space can also make the website feel more spacious and easier to navigate, which can be particularly important on small screens.

In addition to these design elements, it’s also a good idea to use a mobile-first design approach, where the website is designed to work well on small screens first and then enhanced for larger screens. This helps ensure the website is usable and easy to navigate on all devices.

Conclusion

In conclusion, creating a responsive website involves using a combination of techniques, such as flexible layouts, flexible images, media queries, and a mobile-first design approach, to ensure that the website looks good and is easy to use on a wide range of devices, from desktop computers to smartphones.

Design elements such as minimalistic design and dark mode can also be used to create a responsive website that is visually appealing and easy to use.

It’s essential to test the responsive website thoroughly to ensure it works well and looks good on various devices and screen sizes. This will help to ensure that users have a good experience when using the website on any device.