Responsiveness and responsive web design are terms thrown around in digital marketing that describe how a website responds to a user’s behavior.

Web design responsiveness is important because designers need to create websites that speak to a user’s experience to make it more fluid, sleek, and easier to use.

Let’s go over some responsive web design elements and why they are important.

what is responsive web design?

It is a practice wherein a website should respond to a user’s behavior and environment based on:

  • Platform/web browser
  • Screen size
  • Orientation

Web designers will use different layouts, flexible grids, resized images, and intelligent elements that make a website appear different from one device to the next.

For example, someone looking at a website on a desktop computer with Google Chrome will notice a different layout than that same person looking at the same website on an iPhone.

The screen size is much different, and turning a phone sideways would re-orient the web page to accommodate the user’s view.

These same issues aren’t prevalent when looking at a website on a desktop.

how do web designers handle responsiveness?

User experience (UX) experts have plenty of technological tools at their disposal to handle the web design responsiveness

Most tools today, including WordPress, Shopify, and CraftCMS, already have responsive web design principles baked into them. All it takes is a knowledgeable web designer to plug into those tools and use them properly.

what website elements are part of responsive design?

The best part of web design responsiveness is that users hardly notice it. Web pages and websites just appear normal while working fluidly and effortlessly going from one page to the next.

screen resolution

A web page needs to have different focal lengths for human eyes on a desktop versus a mobile device simply because a computer screen is bigger than a phone screen. 

Therefore, the website must adjust for different screen resolutions automatically.

For mobile devices, a web page must switch the orientation from portrait to landscape and back, and there are even multiple screen sizes for smartphones, tablets, and small laptops that all need varying resolutions.

Even large monitors have varying degrees of screen resolution that responsive web design takes care of.

Although the layout on a desktop is important, web designers typically create websites with mobile-friendly elements in mind first and desktop second because a majority of users first encounter a website on a mobile device.

fluid layouts

Web pages must change layouts as they display on desktops and mobile devices.

For example, the main navigation for a website on a desktop monitor would spread itself out across the top. For a mobile device, the website might use a hamburger menu, buttons, or drop-down features instead of spreading out the menu choices.

It’s all designed to make navigating a web page easier when the user swipes up or down on a screen, or when turning it from side to side.

images

How images work on responsive websites is much the same for changing screen resolution.

Images will appear larger on a desktop monitor compared to a smartphone or tablet. Therefore, the image size and the resolution must match.

A high-quality image that is 2000 pixels wide by 1500 pixels tall will need to be shrunk to much smaller dimensions (maybe 200 by 150) to fit onto a mobile screen. 

Yet the image looks the same on the backend of the website in the CMS.

A web design responsiveness template will take care of this automatically through the programming that’s already in the HTML and CSS.

the programming involved

Traditional HTML doesn’t handle web design responsiveness on its own. 

HTML (hypertext markup language) handles the structure of a website as it has done for more than 30 years. CSS (cascade style sheets) changes the design and display of HTML elements. 

Whereas HTML allows a designer to add an image to a page, CSS defines the style of the image (including the size).

Both languages modify the website to make it responsive in as many ways as needed.

why is web design responsiveness a big deal?

Because user experience is a huge metric when ranking websites and responsive web design fosters better engagement with a target audience.

Even though people may think of SEO as a word-based issue for websites with keywording in the right places, user experience can actually cause a web page to be ranked higher or lower than others if all other things on two similar web pages are equal.

No one wants to engage with a website that doesn’t respond quickly or at all. Responsive web design must work seamlessly and flawlessly. People don’t notice when it works great, but they certainly notice when it doesn’t work at all.

design a website with vervology

The web design team at Vervology can help your small business design a responsive website that works beautifully to attract people to your brand.

Talk to us, and we’ll see what we can do to improve your website.