Through the use of fluid grid layouts and fluid graphics, RWD (Responsive Web Design) targets the width of the browser in use and determines the proper website display for the accessing devices including desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones.
We use media queries to target maximum and minimum widths rather than device sizes or orientations. We do this because browsers and mobile devices of the future will vary in size but will still benefit from RWD.
Introduction to Building an Effective Website
Building an effective website requires that you implement and execute an effective plan. Here are a few rules that you need to stick to in order to give your visitors the experience that they want.
It is important to remember that Web users often have a short attention span and limited patience.If your website is designed in an inconsistent way with confusing navigational features and poor information placement, they will likely start looking elsewhere.
Another essential fact to realize is that there is a far greater diversity than ever before in the way people access the Internet.
Today, many people use tablets and smartphones on a daily basis for using the Internet, and you need to have a design which appeals to all of your visitors.
Website Planning, Performance and Purpose
The main goal of your website is to promote your business’s products and services. Effective planning requires that you connect to your customers by following the key rules below.
• Structure: The structure of your website depends on the type of audience that you are trying to attract and the style of your business. Design features should be consistent and easily understandable so that your visitors can navigate around your website without any issues. It is also important that you structure your website so that it offers an optimal experience to users of mobile devices. Responsive Web design techniques are very important in order to have one website which looks great on any screen resolution.
• Pages: Your content needs to be presented in such a way that it provides useful information to your visitors without giving them information overload or providing low quality or otherwise unhelpful content. Decide how many pages your website needs and determine the purpose of each one.
• Navigation: Most Web users spend no more than half a minute on a website before deciding whether or not to continue using it or look elsewhere. Website navigation should be clear with a minimal learning curve for users of any Internet-enabled device. Never sacrifice ease of use for fancy or unusual styles and layouts.
• Content: Any modern website needs more than just textual content. These days, graphics are important as are other types of media such as video, animation and infographics. Combining various types of content has the potential to greatly improve the experience of your users.
• Audience: Know your audience and determine what they want. The way in which you promote your products and services will depend on the audience that you are trying to appeal to. Research your audience carefully by drawing your inspiration from other similar sites which are already successful.
• Purpose: What is the purpose of your website? If the main purpose of your site is to serve as an online shop, you will need to integrate tried and tested ecommerce features into its design. For example, having a shopping cart represented by a suitable icon on the homepage will immediately tell people that your site is an online shop.
UX, Content Clarity and Content Placement
The User Experience (UX) of your website is defined by several key factors such as visitor satisfaction with your design style, user-friendliness, reliability, efficiency and whether or not your visitors will be able to remember and recognize your business. The following takes a look at the most important design considerations that no business can afford to ignore.
• Consistency: When initially planning your website, you will want to determine a distinct style in order to brand and represent your business. This will make your website more memorable and create a more pleasant user experience. Stick with the same style throughout your website by using consistent positioning of navigational features and other on-page elements.
• Usability: It can be tempting to take a radical approach in order to provide a completely unique user experience. However, this should generally be avoided as it can increase the learning curve and cause your visitors to lose patience and look elsewhere. For the sake of visitor satisfaction, your website must be fast and efficient providing clear controls such as navigational menus, a search box and any other features which they may find helpful.
• Content placement: Give people what they want and what they expect by placing your content appropriately. Engaging headlines, useful information, and calls to action are important if you are trying to advertise something. Your homepage, for example, should present visitors with a list of recommended products and special promotions.
• Content clarity: Is your content easily viewable and comfortable to read? Avoid falling into some of the common design flaws that many Web designers make. Keep things simple and never sacrifice readability for the sake of fancy colors or extravagant typefaces, particularly when it comes to text-based content. You can enjoy a little more flexibility with things like headlines and labels, but when it comes to the bulk of any written content, stick to what is fairly conventional.
• Colors and themes: Color is a particularly important element of Web design. Different colors invoke different emotions and reactions. The options which are most suitable for your website will depend very much on your type of business. Purple colors, for example, often convey an impression of luxury and quality while red invokes a sense of urgency. Choose your color pallet carefully and keep your design style consistent.
• On-page search engine optimization: Google loves websites which are designed with their human readers in mind while penalizing those which are designed primarily with the purpose of artificially manipulating the search results in hopes of better rankings. Be careful with on-page optimization. Diversify your key words and phrases and use them naturally. A site which is over-optimized will likely end up getting pushed to the back of the search results. This, of course, is exactly what you don’t want to achieve.