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Until recently, the only thing that website designers thought about was creating a webpage that would look good only on a computer. A few other devices could be included, but there wasn’t really any diversity in web design.

This changed due to the development of the mobile devices industry. The last decade or so has shown a rise in the variety of mobile devices. This has led to the fact that many website designers have now started to look for ways to make a particular website adaptable to any screen size. This is the main goal of responsive website design.

What is the main purpose of website responsive design?

Before we can proceed to identify the best possible practices in web responsive design, we have to understand what it is. Put into very simple terms, website responsive design is a route taken by modern web designers to create a website with a content layout that can adapt to any screen size.

This term was initially coined by Ethan Marcotte who stated that web responsive design consisted of three distinct parts. These are:

  • A fluid grid,
  • Fluid images, and
  • Media queries.

This is just a simple description of what web responsive design is. Every web designer must have enough knowledge of this concept, to a degree. This will enable them to develop their capabilities in the ever-changing field of web design.

How to design a responsive website

We can safely conclude that designing websites for desktop screens is only an ancient practice. This is because of the constant launching of various devices, causing developers to look for other ways to make web displays work for all devices.

This has proven to be very helpful because the average individual spends more of their time browsing on a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet than they do on their computer. When it comes to creating a responsive design for a website, knowing what you are doing is very important. Here are some tips for responsive web design.

Always plan for a small and a large display

As we have already established, mobile phones and other portable devices are the most used platforms for internet browsing. Web designers have obviously noticed this, which is what has led them to put in more effort in improving the display for small devices. This is where the problem lies.

One thing that designers tend to forget when they design a responsive website is the fact that it should include larger displays, as well. Therefore, designing responsive websites has proved its importance in larger devices, too.

Although statistics show that most internet traffic comes from mobile devices, many individuals switch devices throughout the day. This means that it is wise to assume that an individual with a mobile device also has access to a computer.

This should be taken very seriously because, no matter the device, the user prefers to access the internet and their expectations still remain the same.

So, what is the best approach?

  • Every website designer should consider small displays first.
  • They can look up various trends and incorporate them into their design to make it marketable.
  • After making sure they have everything related to small displays covered, they can then proceed to larger displays.

Never forget about context

One of the best tips for responsive web design is to always consider the context. Many designers tend to pay more attention to fitting a website on various displays, and they forget about the actual context of the website.

In this case, fitting the website to any screen size only accomplishes one thing. The content, which is usually arranged in columns, will simply be broken down into more columns depending on the display size.

Why is this impractical? When designing a website, adding as much information to it is very important (but, only valuable information). This will be important because, in the end, you expect your website to perform in the role it was created for.

Therefore, every designer should try to abandon the idea of only adding particular information to the website. For example, instead of providing only directions to a particular store, add more information that you think a website user expects to find.