04 February 2013

Ways to Improve Your Responsive Web Design Approach

Responsive web design has evolved from a trend to a necessity in web designing services. With experts predicting mobile traffic overtaking “regular traffic” (web traffic from desktops and laptops) by 2014 and with data showing that 90% of mobile searches result to a response to a site’s call-to-action, having a site that is compatible across mobile devices is a must.

There are two routes that a responsive website design company can take to create websites specifically made for the mobile audience. Choosing which one you should use depends on your resources and the frequency of how your website is updated.

The Adaptive Method

First, there’s the Adaptive approach. This type of responsive website design is executed by creating web layouts based on different width ranges. Typically, this method produces three layouts that are targeted for specific widths such as tablets and mobile devices. However, if a user is browsing via a device with a screen size that falls outside these width ranges, browsing issues may start to surface. This is one of the disadvantages of using this approach. Another disadvantage websites built using this technique is not forward looking. This means that it would work on the most widely used devices today.

On the other hand, an advantage of this approach is a relatively easier testing process since there are only three layouts to be tested. Also, since these layouts are specifically made to the most prevalent widths of the hottest devices at a given time, a responsive website design company can assure a client that his site is optimized for the majority of the mobile internet users.

So, who should use the adaptive method? This approach is highly recommended for websites or organizations that redesign their sites frequently. Businesses whose online marketing strategies involve developing new mobile executions every so often and do not really stay with a specific mobile site version for more than two years will find the adaptive approach advantageous.

The Fluid Method

On the contrary, organizations whose websites don’t really change that much should explore the other responsive website design option which is the Fluid approach. From the term fluid, these responsive web designing services employing this technique has no fix or true form. Just like water or any other liquid, it takes the shape of its container. In this case, Fluid sites automatically adjusts to whatever screen width they are viewed on – from the relatively smaller screens of some smartphones to the bigger screens of tablets.

A fluid responsive web design is created by using percentages for widths, instead of a definite range of pixels. If done by a reputable and experienced responsive web design company, sites that are built using the Fluid approach will always appear balanced and proportional.

However, since this method is more all-encompassing compared to the adaptive method, a lot of resources should be dedicated in terms of ensuring that the width percentages are calculated and coded properly, hence, the testing phase of these sites can be pretty extensive. Another disadvantage of this technique is it assumes that responsive web design technology will always be the preeminent in mobile web design. However, as anyone involved in professional web designing services knows, there is nothing constant in this practice but change.

One or Two? It’s Up to You!

Ultimately, whether you should choose the Adaptive approach of the Fluid approach depends on your business needs and the nature of your web properties. One thing is for sure though: Mobile internet use is on the rise and with the light speed rate of how technology is changing, no one can afford to get left behind.

By Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma is a Project Manager with a prominent web design & development company TIS India since last 10 years. He loves to create aesthetically appealing websites & eye-popping user interfaces for international clients. Follow him on here

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