Moving from desktop to mobile requires web designers to think again about the facts. Not just that thinking away from the desktop design, but more towards the mobile design.
There are three main ways to approach a mobile web existence. First two are separating the mobile sites like moving towards to mobile app and a separate mobile website. But the most common and the best way is to approach a responsive web design.
This idea leads us to an approach where a web design is created which fit for all screen sizes, like mobile phone, desktop screen, tablet, and a big widescreen. The use of modern CSS3 allows converting the web design according to the screen size of the user and help for a better user experience and view.
The Benefits of Responsive Web Design
One of the important and cool benefits of responsive web design is you only need to maintain one website instead of multiple versions of the site. However the design of the website changes, but the content of the site remains same. And you no further need to manage the multiple versions of a single website.
As I said that there is only one version of the site for all devices so there is no need for any redirections for different devices. Which means that the same page URL delivers that content to all devices. This reduces the problem of redirections and compatibility issues.
A website which is working across all the devices, it is very easy to maintain a brand name. There is no need for different styles to serve to the 3rd parties for different versions. It makes the consistent branding of the business.
A user-friendly web design is the one which can serve all types of users in all types of devices easily without any problem. The responsive web design is great for all users and it is very user-friendly design. It increases the usability of the site without changing the content of the site.
6 Challenges with Responsive Web Design
As we all know that responsive web design is just a few years old and recently started to take by the website owners. Some say that it is a new way of thing and need of the time, but some are also saying that this just a trend.
Currently, google is considering responsive web design a good practice for ranking and like the responsive web design. Although there are few challenges while moving towards the responsive web design that we all face and need to overcome while building a perfect and successful responsive web design.
1. Time of Development
A very common and the biggest problem while developing a responsive design is time. It takes more time for development and for managing. For regular desktop web design you need less time and preparation, but for responsive web design, you need extra time and extra work to do. Testing and managing also take extra time to complete.
2. Different user Behaviour, Different Devices
Creating a single website that works perfectly on different devices equally and very well is a big challenge. Although a single web structure, shared set of code and website remains same in term of structure and content for different devices, but the different devices need a different way of thinking.
One user may visit the desktop version with the thinking of how to get in touch with the company and at the same time, another user is visiting the site on a mobile device for searching a product. Both are the completely different goals and circumstances.
3. Different Devices Offers Different Interactions
The mobile version not only differs from the desktop version in a visual but also a practical way. The interaction that works well for a mobile device can be irrelevant on the other device. This is because we interact differently with mobile and desktop devices.
Another problem is placing images. We need bigger images for the desktop and smaller for the mobile devices. For this, we scale the images and scaling images quickly lose the details and their meanings too. Providing different images for different devices is the solution, but there are also many cons and pros to consider doing this.
5. Navigation Menus
Main navigation of the site is the most important part of the site. Especially for complex desktop websites which have mega menus and larger and multi-layer dropdown menus. This a big challenge to handle this problem for smaller devices because on smaller devices you have a limited space to show the thing and a big navigation menu is a big problem to handle. Designing an intuitive navigation menu is a secondary solution, but is a big challenge.
6. Keep Testing
This is not a surprise that you need consistent testing. Early user testing is an essential part of every responsive web design. The different behavior and the challenge to make a perfect design for both regular and touch screens at the same will need too much testing. To check that design is working and everything is fine, test on as many devices as you can.