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Image of a mobile device on a pink background - responsive design

Responsive design – the hardest simple part of web development

Nowadays website development is crucial to companies, irrespective of which field they operate in. When you cannot locate the information that you are searching for effortlessly and quickly on a particular device, that website has not been designed well and clearly usability was not part of the web design process.

Now, for a website to be responsive, it has to be just as easy to use on your tablet or mobile phone. In other words, the experience across your mobile and desktop must in every case be good in order for the website to have been designed to be responsive.

In basic words, a responsive website must be able to adjust to its environment.

So, this means that a web developer will have to guarantee that the website’s functionality, visual layout and performance are the same, no matter the type of digital platform. If the web developer manages to achieve this, all the prospective customers will manage to locate what they are looking for, irrespective of the type of interface that is used. Ultimately this means that it will be easier for you to close that sale or make contact with your customers.

A Taxing But Worthy Task

Making responsive web design a priority, meaning an experience that is just as good irrespective of the platform, might sound like something that does not require a lot of thought. Though, responsive web design is in fact challenging and something that calls for a lot of time when you consider the importance of user experience, the endless testing of new aspects, and ensuring that your site is operating the best on every browser, device and carrier network.

In fact, the Criteo’s State of Mobile Commerce Report states that 40% of transactions nowadays happen on various devices. Yet, almost 50% of Internet users find that websites are still not optimised for mobile devices.

Ultimately if you want to be successful, you will have to adjust the experience so that it perfectly fits the specific platform that is being utilised. The following four steps will be very helpful to ensure a responsive design.

Knowing How Your Customers Interact

Web developers should begin responsive web design by finding out the relevant facts. Getting the latest analysis of mobile and web traffic will give you the information regarding popular sites, browsers and mobile devices that are utilised to browse a particular website. An analysis of solid traffic can offer an understanding of all the different mobile platforms and browsers that should be reviewed for a coverage plan.

This might be a wonderful way to begin, but it is insufficient when you want to create a test coverage plan as it fails to consider the bigger market, your competition or all the latest configurations and platforms. As a result, a more detailed inclusive program that focuses attention on endless testing across various platforms is required.

Visual Testing

When a screen resizes or the user conditions alter, a website that’s responsive will show the content in a different way. So, because of this intricacy, those responsible for testing and app development must merge different validations to ensure that when the context becomes different, the view alters too and the displayed content is correct, not cut off at the top or end, and doesn’t lead to any usability malfunctions.

Client-side Performance Testing

Web performance is a crucial part of any responsive web design test plan and will guarantee excellent web performance. The development and operations teams must test how long it takes for the images and content to load on the different views as responsive web design targets a big array of combinations (for example IE on Windows XP, Safari on particular Mac OS versions, and so forth). On top of that, how the website performs overall and how this differs from one platform to the next and with regards to specific network conditions should also be viewed carefully.

Test Navigation Across Platforms

This is not just verifying that the website operates successfully on various platforms. It is also looking at the journey that is taken by a user when they interact with a particular brand online. A user can begin with a smartphone, then switch to a tablet and then to a desktop browser. Occasionally a user can even get to your responsive web design website via a non-responsive website.

With the help of navigation testing, you can make sure that your users can complete a full run through your website without any issues. You will also have to ensure that the different screen orientations for desktops and mobile devices operate efficiently to prevent anything from breaking when the user shifts from landscape to portrait or the other way around.

By testing these screen orientations and aspects like menus and shortcuts, the UX can be boosted when a user visits your website via a small screen.

Make Real-user Conditions Part Of Your Testing

You must also ensure that these different environments imitate the actual conditions that your users face daily. It is a good idea to work together with business and marketing groups to gather target user data and to learn more about who your target audience is, where they reside and which network conditions do they have.

Responsive web design and testing for it are not easy tasks, but it remains crucial.

Here’s a recommended article on why we are considered one of the best web design companies servicing Melbourne.