In a time when it seems that almost everyone has at least two devices, if not three, to view websites on, responsive web design has become a hot topic in design circles. While it may be tricky to design for multiple devices at a time, we were lucky enough to have Tim Wright, Senior User Experience Designer and Developer at Fresh Tilled Soil, stop by at Intelligent.ly this week. He told us about the 7 Rules of Responsive Web Design, which are as follows:
1. Don’t call it mobile.
It’s not the screen size that makes a design mobile, it’s the fact that you can load it on a mobile device. Nowadays, devices come in all sizes, so don’t confine yourself to thinking you’re only designing for a smartphone or tablet.
2. Treat it as one site.
Don’t treat the site you designed optimized for large screens as a separate site as the one optimized for smaller screen sizes. At the end of the day they should both convey the same information and the user should have the same quality of experience.
3. Don’t target specific devices.
The variety of devices and screen sizes available today make it impractical to design for just one of them. Instead, make sure your design will respond to ALL screen sizes and devices.
4. Don’t remove content for small screens.
A user who comes to your site to consume ten paragraphs of content on a tablet device is just as likely to want consume that content as much as a desktop user. Don’t compromise the experience just because the user has a smaller screen.
5. Think in terms of features.
Although a smartphone may have a smaller screen that doesn’t quite fit a navigation bar as easily as a desktop, it doesn’t mean your user won’t need it. Find a way to still incorporate those less convenient features.
6. Seriously, don’t call it mobile.
7. Consider the strategy from the start.
If you incorporate the end goal from the beginning and formulate your strategy around it, the design will only benefit and the user will have a better end experience.
Keep these rules in mind when you begin to create your responsive web design and you’ll be on your way to making perfect designs that fit any screen!