- What is responsive design?
- A mobile-first approach to responsive web design
- The components of responsive design
- Benefits of responsive design
- Tools for responsive web design
- Responsive web page layouts
- Responsive typography
- Flexible images
- Responsive web design testing tools
- Wrapping Up
We live in the world where almost everyone uses mobile devices and accesses data through web pages or web applications. According to the statistics, in 2022, mobile devices generated 58.99% of global website traffic.
Therefore, the success of almost any business depends on whether they are ready to join the world of web apps and adapt their tech product to all devices and web browsers.
It is important to make the design of your tech products responsive. A responsive design will optimize your users’ experience.
What it means is that your app should open on any device and web browser while preserving the same features and a flexible easy-to-use interface.
Nowadays, having a responsive design is a must, but this should not scare you. Adapting your tech product’s design to different devices is easier than ever.
You can use numerous responsive web design tools available online to make the development process faster, save your time and resources, and manage your finances.
In this article, we will discuss the major tools you can use to create a responsive web design, how to use them, and how they will benefit your business in the long run.
What is responsive design?
A responsive design is the process of making your website or app look good and function properly across multiple devices, both mobile and desktop.
You have probably seen websites that look amazing on your computer but once you open them on your smartphone, they look distorted and are impossible to use. These are the products that do not have responsive designs.
Responsive design ensures that a product looks great on all devices, its content fits perfectly into the frame, the navigation is straightforward, and the website or app looks nice and appealing.
In other words, the quality of the web product is the same on desktops and on all mobile devices. That is why developers these days use a lot of responsive web design development tools.
A mobile-first approach to responsive web design
With almost 59% of global web traffic coming from mobile devices, more and more companies decide to follow the mobile-first approach when creating their applications. This development method prioritizes mobile devices when creating web pages or applications. Thus, mobile versions of tech products are created first, and then they are adapted to the desktop version.
There are a couple of reasons why this approach works well:
- Since mobile websites usually have more usability concerns, creating the mobile version first allows developers to address these issues and save time and effort.
- It is much easier to scale up than to scale down.
- This approach helps designers see what features should be added next and how to make the app more visually pleasing.
- It helps avoid the degradation of your app’s features: you don’t have to stripe a full-screen UI of any elements so that the product fits into the mobile screen.
Why is mobile-first design so critical? Let’s look at the smartphone usage statistics:
- There are over 3 billion smartphone users in the world
- People spend more than 3 hours a day on their phone
- Millenials use their phones 5.7 hours per day
- People check their phones 58 times a day
Thus, one of the ways to ensure the responsive design is implementing the mobile-first approach when creating the design of your tech products. Now, let’s take a look at the components of responsive design.
The components of responsive design
There are three main components of a responsive design: media queries, flexible visuals, and fluid grids. Let’s discuss them in detail.
Media queries allow designers to build multiple layouts using the same HTML documents. They are simple filters that make it easier to change the styles based on the device you’re creating for or its features. For example, media queries allow you to easily adapt the app to any width, height, and type of screen.
Media queries are not only used to create websites that will look good on mobile devices or tablets. On the contrary, they offer developers and designers solutions that allow adapting any tech product to different mediums without any constraints.
Some media queries are used to create a responsive experience where the design is applied to different screen sizes, and others are used according to the device’s capabilities or whether people are using a touchscreen or a mouse.
However, media queries would not be so useful without the implementation of HTML and CSS foundation, including flexible grids and flexible images that we will discuss next.
One of the key features of responsive design is images that move and scale. The visuals on your website should be visible on any device, which is why they should automatically resize to fit any screen.
Moreover, you should not overload your website with unnecessary images that take ages to load. Your web design does not need to be image-heavy because it can both cause issues and discourage the user from staying on your website.
To make the visuals flexible, responsive design applies scaling and CSS overflow, which allows images to adjust and load appropriately.
Modern smartphones and tablets have different screen sizes and resolutions. The screens tend to become wider, and that is why it is important to ensure that your website looks perfect at any resolution. To achieve this, you need to create a flexible grid that adapts to the user’s environment.
To create a flexible grid, the trick is to use percentage-based calculations. Most grids use CSS classes to define the size, alignment, and space of the device.
Benefits of responsive design
More mobile traffic
Taking into account the number of people using their smartphones to access web pages these days, it is especially important for companies that want to increase their mobile traffic to make the design of their apps responsive and flexible. You don’t want the images on the screen to distort when people open your website on different devices or experience an unusable site layout. Responsive design makes websites accessible to more users and, as a result, increases mobile traffic.
Fast mobile development at lower costs
Let’s be honest, it’s much more expensive to create separate versions of websites for different devices than to create one responsive website. Time is money, and your goal is to use them both to your advantage and not waste your resources. Responsive design allows you to save time and money because you create only one version of the website and don’t have to spend more money on maintenance costs.
Low maintenance needs
If you decide to create a separate website for mobile devices, you will inevitably need to spend money on testing and support. Why spend additional money if you can just invest in responsive design? The process of responsive design uses standardized testing methods to ensure that the layout is adaptable to every screen. Responsive design is the ultimate solution that saves your team from possible headaches. When you don’t have to spend time on maintenance, you can focus on other important things such as content creation and marketing.
When people visit web pages, they don’t want to wait for ages for the page to load. It’s always easier to find alternatives that are fast and convenient to use. If your website takes more than three seconds to load, be sure that a visitor will just close the tab. That’s why responsive web design exists; it helps make your website as fast as possible and ensures that users stay on it once they open it. The modern performance techniques in this design increase your web page loading speed.
Low bounce rates
A responsive web design provides a better user experience for the visitor, and it is less likely that they will abandon the site. Web pages with responsive design have lower bounce rates than other websites because they keep the visitor engaged and they are easier and more pleasant to use.
High convention rates
You don’t only need to lower your bounce rates. The key is to ensure that your web pages attract more and more new visitors. That is why you need responsive web design. If you have a website that looks professional, is intuitive and easy to use, people will more likely choose it among the competitors and share it with others.
One more benefit of responsive web design is that it increases your search ratings. You need your website to be at the top of search engines. Responsive design improves the SEO of your web page because you have one version of the page both for mobile and desktop. This way, there’s no duplicate content that negatively affects your search ranking.
Tools for responsive web design
At SoftFormance, our stack for the majority of projects is responsive, and we use a lot of different tools for responsive web design to create projects for our clients. Let’s talk about the best tools for responsive web design.
When used in responsive design, Full Stack Python improves readability across various devices people use to read your web page. The Python frameworks we use include Gradio, Streamlit, Ploty Dash, and others.
Gradio is a web UI builder. It is designed for machine learning projects, and it offers designers 25 different widgets. It is possible to wrap each Python function in the Gradio interface, and you will be able to display its output on another widget. One of its main benefits is its ability to collect feedback, which is an important feature for ML app prototyping.
Plotly Dash is a framework that uses Plotly charts to build GUIs with less code. This tool allows for delivering faster impactful business outcomes on data science and AI initiatives.
ReactJS front-end frameworks
Ant Design is a UI design language with a set of ReactJS components. It is a great framework for enterprises because its components allow building an entire app. It also includes extensive documentation. It supports dozens of languages, and Typescript support, its design is supported by modern browsers, and it allows creation of professional-looking web pages.
Material UI is perhaps the most popular React UI framework. It is also an open-source library that implements Google’s Material Design. All of its components are prebuilt and ready to use for web page production. Its benefits include integration with Design Kits like Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD, automatic color changes, and components like app bars, badges, cards, icons, menus, and more.
Responsive web page layouts
Twitter Bootstrap is a toolkit designed by Twitter that helps kickstart the development of web pages. Bootstrap includes base CSS and HTML for tables, grids, typography, buttons, and forms. It is available for free and can be downloaded to help you in your web design projects.
Fluid 960 Grid System provides a fast and easy way to create grid-based layouts using CSS. It is a fluid adaptation of the original 960 Grid System created by Nathan Smith. This Grid System provides cros-browser tested preset of column widths that you can set your content into.
Gridless is a grid system that focuses on the mobile-first approach to crafting websites. It offers a more content-focused approach so it’s a perfect choice for those who need a leaner, cleaner grid system for their website.
PXtoEM helps convert absolute units of measurement (px and pt) into relative units of measurement (ems and percent) for spacing, typography, etc. This tool helps avoid all the math calculations required for converting the units of measurement. It allows designers to change the base font size of the layout.
Lettering.js is a plugin that helps you control the appearance of your website and control its typography. If you want to create responsive design, this tool will allow you to stay creative without having to look for image-based solutions. With Lettering.js, you can control characteristics like spacing, leading, and kerning.
FitText helps make your headlines responsive. With the help of this tool, text appears optimally on all devices.
imgSizer.js is a tool that ensures that your images render cleanly in Microsoft Windows. It generates different image sizes from the original image, depending on the screen that the user is using.
Responsive web design testing tools
Browserstack is a cross-browser testing platform that allows developers to integrate numerous tools to automate the testing process of a website. It requires zero setups and zero maintenance to speed up releases and gives instant aces to 3000+ browsers.
Adobe Device Central allows testing websites without the need to own dozens of devices. With this software, you can test your site on different devices by inputting the URI of the web page and switching between the devices you want to test it in.
Modernizr allows designers to benefit from the power of HTML5 and CSS3. It gives developers media-query-like abilities in older browsers. It also provides conditional loading features.
If your goal is to provide a better user experience, scale up, and stay competitive on the market, responsiveness is the key. It allows businesses to create custom solutions for users on a wide range of devices.
Creating responsive design for websites is not as difficult as it may seem. All you need to do is to set a goal and know what tools to use. This way, you will avoid unnecessary stress, save money and resources, and make your team’s life easier.
If you have been looking for a team to create a responsive website or you simply need a consultation, contact us.
How is responsive web design implemented?
The responsive design suggests that website design and development should always keep in mind customers’ needs and respond to their behavior based on what device the person uses. Moreover, responsive websites adapt to the screen size, platform, and orientation of the device. This practice consists of a mix of flexible grids, layouts, media queries, and images.
How does a responsive design work?
It works through Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). It uses different settings to adjust to the properties of the user’s device.
Why is responsive web design better?
It allows to make websites faster, easier to navigate, and much more accessible. Responsive web design allows people to find relevant data on websites without much effort, and it encourages users to stay on the page and return to it in the future.