This blog post was originally written for LegRoom Agency and was published in January, 2017.
Get your mind out of the gutter – we’re talking real estate.
One of the main driving forces behind the necessity for responsive design has been the need to create better experiences for users on mobile devices. That’s because mobile visitors now make up the largest percentage of traffic for web users… and with the constant evolution of technology, we don’t see this changing in the future.
SO, the importance of ensuring all websites are optimised for mobile isn’t something any of us are new to – designers and developers alike. But it needs to be said that the optimisation for mobile shouldn’t come at the expense of desktop users (and if it does, we’ll put it down to laziness).
We believe that great designers should understand that increasing support for smaller screens doesn’t mean decreasing support for their larger counterpart.
Approaching responsive design can seem daunting – you’re essentially designing two products for the same project. How can ensure that you’re providing the user (and your client) with not only the most beautiful website you can, but also the most functional and user-friendly?
Let us introduce you to a little thing called the mobile-first approach – a term you might’ve heard thrown around the agency every now and then, or one you might’ve read throughout our blog.
What is it?
Think of it this way – the mobile design has the smallest real estate of all screen sizes, and is therefore considered the most challenging. Generally speaking, you can’t fit all of the content from a standard website onto a mobile one – it would be incredibly painful for the user having to scroll through kms of content.
Taking this into account, designing for mobile means that your site will only have the most essential features – it’s content focussed, which means it’s user-focussed, and that’s what all of this is about.
Once you’ve designed for mobile, you’ve created a foundation which the remaining devices will stem from, and with each increase in device size, you’ll build from the one prior, ensuring that the desktop user isn’t neglected.
For true scalability, you also need to consider the popular breakpoints. We’ve considered both ends of the spectrum in this post, but the inbetween also needs to be accounted for – new devices are being introduced daily, and the breakpoints which we consider popular today may not be popular in future.