Responsive design has become the most talked about design process for websites in the last year. Because it’s still a challenge to format a website so it automatically responds to mobile devices, some businesses shy away from having responsive design done. But if you haven’t done it this year, you should do it now to take advantage of how many people look up information on their smartphones.
What happens, though, if your website is overly complicated and you feel that responsive design wouldn’t translate your site to mobile correctly?
There’s some things you can do to make the transition easier. However, you’ll need a little time to plan and sort out what the most important elements of your site really are.
Research Which Devices Your Regular Visitors Use
Until there’s ever a day of a uniform browser on all smartphones, your regular visitors on mobile will see your site differently. If you haven’t done responsive design yet, most people have likely given up viewing your site through a smartphone due to frustrating formatting issues. Before you fix that, though, you should check the metrics on your website and see what mobile devices your audience have been using. The evidence here needs to be taken to your web designer who can code your website to respond to those particular mobile devices.
Regardless, it doesn’t hurt to code your website for all available mobile devices. This way, you can be assured any new customers on a different smartphone or tablet can gain convenient access.
Research Your Website’s Most Essential Elements
You don’t even need online analytic tools to determine what the most crucial elements of your website are. When you apply responsive design, consider coding your site to prominently display only the most vital information. If you’re a restaurant, it doesn’t take any metrics to determine that it’s your menu and your hours that should be prominently displayed first. In a retail store, displaying viewable pictures of your products on the main page would be a standout.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still use analytics to determine what people view the most on your site. Displaying only the vital things on a mobile device will reduce clutter of anything unnecessary.
Rethinking the Design
Most websites today are designed in 16×9 format for viewing on desktop screens and Smart TV’s. Other than the iPad screen format, a smartphone is nowhere near those dimensions. That means responsive design code has to readjust the width of your website and reconfigure where you place things. Whatever you do, make all the vital things fit into the space of a smartphone screen. If there’s any need for scrolling to the left or right, most users won’t take the time to view your website. That’s because recent mobile users are in a hurry and want information in seconds.
Here at U22, we’ll help you get your site ready for mobile (and for normal desktops) at prices far below most competitors. Located in Costa Rica, we’re a small yet growing design firm with excellent website design credits to our name. Contact us to see examples of our past work and to discuss what you need to catch up with the mobile universe.