There’s a very big difference between acknowledging the fact that responsive web design is important and actually getting it right for the sake of your online business. After all, just because you technically tick the responsive box doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to do your site any favours – there’s quite a lot more to it than just going through the motions.
Of course, realistically it should all be looked at as a process of continual improvement as it is to a large extent a pretty new and still-evolving concept. As such, if you’ve walked headfirst into any of the following responsive web design blunders over recent months, don’t beat yourself up too much about it – you’re far from in the minority!
1 – Missing Magnification
First up, one of the most common and detrimental mistakes of all is that of switching off magnification facilities and effectively not allowing your site’s visitors to zoom in and out as and when required. Of course it’s not necessarily the be all and end all in the eyes of most web users, but it nonetheless constitutes taking important control away from your users which is in every respect never a good idea.
2 – Supersized Files
Until cellular networks catch up with blisteringly-fast broadband speeds, it’s going to be necessary to backtrack a little when it comes to responsive web design. There was a time when we all had to be incredibly careful with the files we chose to upload, download and present via websites in order to prevent those hard-working 56k modems from exploding. These days, we don’t think twice about playing around with full 1080p HD video online, but it’s worth remembering that while ever 3G and even 4G rule the roost, supersized files are not the way to go. When a mobile user faces even the slightest delay in accessing your site’s content, chances are they’ll beat a hasty retreat…for good.
3 – Bothersome Buttons
There’s far more to creating a winning mobile UX than ensuring everything from the desktop site makes its way to the small screen. One key example of this being the links and buttons your site features – if they’re too small or bunched too closely together, you’re heading for bother. There’s really very little more annoying than not being able to hit the links or buttons you’re aiming for, simply because those responsible for the website had no real regard for your stubby little thumbs.
4 – Thinking Too Small
Last but not least, while it’s important to put a great deal of time, focus and indeed emphasis on appealing to the mobile crowd, don’t forget there are still billions of desktop users to win over. Suffice to say, you’re going to have a pretty difficult job in doing so if you completely overlook how your site will look and function if stretched to a much larger size. You might have hit the nail on the head in terms of how it looks on an iPhone, but how about a 27-inch iMac screen with 4K resolution?