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Responsive Web Design Trends

By Jash Unadkat, Community Contributor -

Ever wondered how businesses prioritize through Responsive Web Design trends? With the evolution of design taking new meaning each year, in 2023, your responsive website design elements will drive the core of providing a fulfilling online experience. Mixing flawless functionality with a clean, straightforward design on different devices-OS-browser combinations will be pivotal for online entities.

This guide article teaches the importance, best practices, and common mistakes to avoid while opting for a responsive web design that is also mobile-friendly.

What is a Mobile Responsive Web Design?

Mobile responsive web design is a widely implemented approach that enables web pages to render well across various mobile devices (desktops, smartphones, tablets, laptops) with different window or screen sizes and resolutions. Web developers, especially front-end developers, focus on developing mobile-friendly websites as users interact more with the website through smartphones.

Importance of Responsive Web Design

Given the growth in smartphone users, there has been a remarkable increase in website traffic and responsive web design challenges. This drastic change drives us to conclude that people’s expectations regarding how a website should appear on a mobile device have also changed.

The importance of choosing specific Responsive Web Design trends can be projected into the following benefits:

  • Intuitive Website Navigation across device-browser-OS combinations
  • SEO benefits for better search page rankings
  • Lower bounce rates and higher conversions rates
  • Improved overall Website User Experience
  • Better device compatibility coverage for your user base

One can conclude the importance of esponsive website design to cater to rapidly growing online users through smartphones. A web developer builds a user-friendly website to reach the maximum audience. Google recommends that all websites be mobile-friendly and assigns an extra weight for responsiveness when indexing a page. Responsive webpages thus have superior search positions.

As a result, organizations must invest resources in browser compatibility testing and testing across various real devices.

Example of a Responsive Web Design

Let’s consider water as an example.

  • If water is poured into a jar, it adopts the shape of a jar
  • If water is poured into a bottle, it takes the form of a bottle

Screenshot 2022 11 29 at 12.43.15 PM

Similarly, think of the content on a website as water, where the content adjusts and renders itself per the screen sizes across various devices, just like water adopting the shape of various vessels it gets poured in.

How to make a Website Responsive?

Following are a few best practices a web developer should follow to make a website responsive:

  • Including the <meta> tag element in all the pages: It helps to set the viewport of all web pages, instructing the browser on how to resize the page. Following is a code snippet for defining the meta element on each web page.
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">

The example below shows how a web page is rendered with and without a viewport meta tag.

Without Viewport meta tag vs With Viewport meta tag

viewport 2               viewport 1

Images source: w3schools

  • Making the images responsive using the CSS max-width property: Responsive images scale automatically to fit any size across various devices in the browser. Once the CSS max-width property is set to 100%, the image is easily scalable. Example of the related code snippet:
<img src="img_girl.jpg" style="max-width:100%;height:auto;">
  • Making the text responsive: One must set the text size with ‘vw’ (viewport width) unit to make the text size scalable. A related code snippet is as follows:
<h1 style="font-size:10vw">Hello World</h1>
  • Making the video player responsive: Similar to the images, the video player can be made to scale flexibly once the CSS property “max-width” is set to 100%
  • Using Media Queries: Using media queries is another standard method in responsive web designing besides resizing images and text elements in which one can define different styles for different browser sizes.
.left, .right {
float: left;
width: 30%; /* The width is 30%, by default */
}.main {
float: left;
width: 70%; /* The width is 70%, by default */
}/* Use a media query to add a breakpoint at 900px: */
@media screen and (max-width: 900px) {
.left, .main, .right {
width: 100%; /* The width is 100%, when the viewport is 900px or smaller */

Most Common Mistakes to Avoid for Responsiveness

To keep up with web design trends, here are a few common mistakes to be avoided, as prescribed by Google:

  • Web developers must ensure that the Google bot can easily access the CSS, JavaScript, and image files used on the website
  • Avoid using media or any other content that is incompatible with mobile devices
  • Avoid faulty redirects for mobile users (i.e., A mobile user’s original request should be redirected to the appropriate mobile site’s URL)
  • Avoid interstitials that cover up the original content. It may be frustrating for a visitor.
  • A web developer must avoid the usage of tiny fonts, which may result in an awful viewing experience.

Also Read: 6 Common Web Design Mistakes To Avoid

How to check if a website is Mobile Responsive?

Manually testing the website across various devices for responsiveness using the developer tools in the browser can be tedious. As visual test automation is slowly gaining importance, there are tools available in the market to quickly determine the responsiveness of a particular website across multiple devices and browsers.

One such tool is Responsive by BrowserStack, which simplifies mobile responsive testing. The responsive tool provides a combination of real devices to test on the fly! The screenshot below gives a clear idea about the tool.

Responsive Testing - Web Design TrendsUsing a Responsive tool, one can quickly analyze the output rendered across 2000+ devices and figure out any flaws.

Like the Responsive tool, BrowserStack also provides a tool known as “Screenshots”. Screenshots, as the name suggests, capture the rendered output across various devices and share a link with all the screenshots. Screenshot Testing - Web Design Trends

Final Thoughts on Responsiveness

Traffic from mobile devices is up to 60% of all website traffic. Thus, creating a website that works seamlessly on mobile devices is critical. This is achieved by adopting a responsive design. Making the website responsive is not straightforward. Web developers must implement best practices and use handy tools like Responsive and Screenshots. Comprehensive testing ensures excellent user experience and results in better search rankings.

If your QA and UI/UX team is looking to automate your visual testing approach, check out Percy’s capabilities that you can integrate into your existing CI/CD pipeline and review visual changes with every commit.

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