Three Ways Responsive Design Can Go Wrong

11 years ago   •   2 min read

By Marcia Kadanoff

In case you can’t already tell, we are big advocates of responsive design for your web site.

But we do understand that responsive design is no easy task. I mean, we built (and continue to build) a whole product designed to help people complete such a feat.

Regardless of whether or not you have access to a marketing solution, it is very important to be aware about the top 3 problems that can arise from building a website with responsive design.

Wrong Codes Can Increase Website Load Time And More

It is vital that the developers and designers you hire to build a responsive web site have expertise with CSS3 and HTML5. Because one of the key reasons why responsive design is a stellar concept is due to the fact it requires a small number codes that can be used universally across different devices. But if you have a development team that isn’t familiar with responsive design codes, then many snafus are bound to happen.

For example, if a developer is coding up conditional media queries for your responsive website, and codes “display: none” that means your content will not be displayed – period.

Another snafu can come from a designer that formats your images to be viewed well from desktop but renders slowly on mobile. This can affect how long a viewer stays on your site. A quick tip is to use conditional queries that substitute a different sized image on mobile.

Flash Prevents Your Website From Being Viewed on iOS

Incorporating Adobe Flash into your responsive website is counterintuitive. But for some reason, we see “responsive websites” with Adobe Flash elements that will keep iOs viewers from viewing their website.

Steve Jobs famously denounced Adobe Flash in 2010, which is why no iOs device accepts Flash content. Even though Androids accept Flash content, there is really no reason not to run a Javascript effect that will allow your website to run flawlessly on both Android and iOS.

Forgetting The “Three Screens” Means You Forgot Your User

Do you use your smartphone, tablet, and desktop for the same thing? Do you watch a full episode of “GLEE” on your smartphone? Do you write an eBook on your tablet? Chances are you don’t which is why when you create a responsive website, remember to craft an experience optimized per device.

For tablet and desktop users, make sure your responsive website encourages users to spend time viewing content like products seamlessly thus enticing them to make a purchase.

In contrast, smartphone users are impatient and expect responsive websites that allow them to explore with minimal scrolling and clicks. Although the majority of smartphone users prefer customized experiences different from desktop users, studies show that many web searches start on smartphones and end up on the desktop and vice versa. That is why is it important that your responsive website has an option for a visitor to view your entire website.

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