We received multiple signals from our loyal readers that the serial about how to become a web designer is extremely useful for them. We are glad that our work is appreciated, but once again we must clearly state that without practicing any best practices learn by heart is useless. So, keep practicing daily and merely try to give your best in any project you create!
Previously, we mentioned the importance of responsiveness in the modality of creating websites. Many people, but also a part of the designers mistake for responsive web design with a passing trend. Well, this is a very bad mistake, responsive design is the new approach of building website and none affords the luxury of neglecting this new revolution.
A responsive layout is one that is perfectly fitting to any type of device used, no matter the screen sizes or the operating system. More exactly, a responsive website may be enjoyed both from a huge desktop, but also from a very tiny smartphone. Responsive design isn’t created by designers for designers in order to created better websites; it’s a normal consequence of the fact that people are using more and more handheld devices to access Internet. The conclusion is simple: responsive design isn’t a trend; it’s a new phase in web design evolution.
Consequently, studying how to create more responsive websites should be a primordial activity of any web designer. Unfortunately, there are still many aspects that are not fully covered when it’s about building responsive website and any new idea or technique is welcomed by the entire design community. Here we will debate some theoretical best practices that should be embraced by the web designers when creating websites. Of course, you may share with us your opinions about responsiveness, we are waiting for!
#1. Think flexible
Responsiveness isn’t only about HTML and CSS or coding; it’s a whole different mentality. A responsive website is created by taking into account the new context and as a result, all the structures must be flexible. It’s the only way if the designer wants to have the new launched website enjoyed from any type of devices. Flexibility isn’t equivalent with having flexible structures instead of the fixed ones; it means everything to be adaptable. A real flexible website should have even the content tailored to fit to the users’ needs. I hope that you fully understand why responsiveness is a new phase in the crafting websites evolution. Everything should be retaught.
#2. Create for the new user
Few years ago, browsing was the specificity of the desktops and of the good Internet connections. Google promises us to provide “balloon-powered Internet for everyone”, but we still have limited connections. Fortunately, we have more and more powerful devices. Anyway, this complicated climate makes the life of a designer a real hell. Definitely, the designers should imagine how their website will be used by people. Some will stay into their comfortable chair, while others are walking and maybe others are desperately searching for particular information. All of them have different priorities and expectations for a single website. In conclusion, a good website is at junction of each user desires and requirements. It seems that simplicity and pragmatism are two key components of a good responsive website.
#3. Don’t discriminate the user
The most important issues of responsive design are related to the small screen size of the smartphones. It’s a huge mistake not to pay attention in this respect. It’s enough to imagine the effect of a very small font size for a user that is walking in the park and needs very fast the address of the closest pharmacy…I guess that he/she will curse the website creator.
Also, it’s highly recommended to design by having crystal clear in mind that any button must be tappable. There are special recommendations, Apple considers that a button or any UX element must be at least 44px x 44px but any project must be treated apart.
#4. Collaboration with the developer is crucial
A good designer should be able to create a layout for every developer and a good developer should be able to code any layout. Well, this mentality should be forgotten! Creating a responsive website is a very demanding job and the couple designer-developer must be fully functional, else the website will suffer! The client and the users won’t ever say “look, this website is bad because the coder poorly implemented a script or because the navigational menu is bad designed”. Every user (except the web designers) will state clearly “this website is ugly”…and of course, they will instantly leave. Willing or not, both the designers and the developers must work by taking into account the existence and the possibilities of each one.
#5. Let the images speak for and not against you
It’s practically impossible to create a website without an image. The power of visual is fabulous and any designer should try to use it in his advantage. Briefly, the more interesting images a website have, the better for the owner. It might be true unless there is a very important aspect: the loading time. The idea is extremely simple, but at the same time, it’s very difficult to resolve: a high resolution image has a considerable file size and it affects the loading time and as everyone knows, people don’t have patience! A responsive website has the images optimised- there are multiple solutions, but none accepted as unanimous! Therefore, any designer should select from the available solutions, the best one for his project!
You may accuse me that all the above principles are theoretical and don’t have any practical value. It’s true; the good news is that we will provide you further very practical advices in order to create better responsive websites. Altogether, the real reason of preferring these theoretical advices was that responsive design is in fact a new philosophy and these are the pillars of it. I hope that you get the point, before effectively creating responsive structures you must understand the concept behind. Do you agree with my idea? I am waiting for your interesting opinions.
– Written by Daniel –