Responsive design refers to a web design that responds to the resolution of the user’s screen. Far too often, a visitor begins reading a page on a laptop computer, but then has to switch to their smartphone.
In doing so, the user typically experiences a less favorable mobile device experience. The best solution is to create pages that present an optimized experience across all platforms. The following information offers valuable tips in creating a responsive and mobile-friendly website.
Develop your content based on research centered on your user’s needs. This knowledge will prompt you to start with the minimum amount of content required to make the content useful.
Make sure you are able to answer how each piece of content fits into the goals of the site and able to answer what the content is designed to accomplish. By structuring the content properly in the early stages, you will be able to ensure it is transferable to future platforms.
The next tip is to optimize the code for the best performance. Minification refers to the process of taking out any characters that are not necessary from the source code. This will reduce the load time and the size of the white space, which comes from line breaks, spaces, and tabs. Minifying leaves the actual code intact, while effectively reducing the total byte footprint.
Websites must offer an incredible range of images across devices. Using CSS media queries will analyze the size of the user’s browser window and adjust the code for the actual browser.
Remove the Default Zoom
Your layout elements can be greatly compromised by the auto-zoom feature. Specifically, navigation and image content can appear too large or too small in your layout. However, there are special meta tags that you can put into the document header that resets this feature in most iPhone and Android devices.
- Viewport meta tag sets up custom variables within your content.
- Initial scale value defaults your page to a full 100% zoom.
- User-scalable removes the zoom functionality and locks it to the user’s full device width so the user is unable to resize the layout.
Even if you lock the zooming feature, an optimized responsive design will still adapt to the screen when the user transitions from landscape to portrait on any device. However, locking the responsive design and removing the standard scaling options is just a good practice.