Responsive Web Design Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve probably already made the decision to upgrade to responsive web design for your new site. After all, Google has required that all sites be mobile friendly or risk lower rankings. However, before you launch your new site, make sure that your site utilizes the best practices of responsive web design. Here are some responsive web design mistakes to avoid.

Mobile Navigational Problems
While your site may work just fine on a desktop computer, responsive sites can have a host of problems when it comes to mobile navigation. If you want your mobile users to use your site successfully, it is important that you resolve any mobile navigational problems that could affect your site. These issues include too many menu options and menus that take up too much space on the screen.

The mobile experience for your site can be dramatically improved by creating menus that use icons in place of text for the various menu options. You should also avoid using menus that are activated by hover because these options don’t work on touchscreen devices. Finally, make sure the menus can adjust to any size device by using toggled menus, which is a great way to create menus that work on small devices.

Overlooking Touchscreen Experiences
One major mistake that website owners make when it comes to upgrading to responsive design websites is that they overlook the fact that mobile devices that feature touchscreens offer a significantly different user experience than a desktop website, which uses a mouse for navigational purposes.

The majority of mobile devices today rely on touchscreen technology. Even some laptops are using this technology, as well. As a result, you should make sure that your users don’t have to zoom in to see page elements. Make sure to design your site with larger page elements so that they are easy to see and press. Include plenty of swipe space so that it is easier to navigate your site without accidentally clicking links on a page.

Not Using Proper Image Optimization Techniques
According to Chartbeat, 55% of web users spend fewer than 15 seconds actively on a page. This means that if you want visitors to stay on your website, you must do everything you can to ensure that your website offers the best user experience possible. Start by using image optimization techniques to ensure that images on your site load quickly.

Your images should be able adjust to all screen sizes so that they load quickly. In addition, consider the quality of the images because on certain screen sizes low quality images may appear pixelated. Google’s PageSpeed Insights can also help you to identify other ways to make your site faster and more mobile friendly.

Non-Mobile Friendly Links
As you update your site, it is also important to think about your site’s internal and external links. Make sure that every link on your website links to a page that is mobile friendly. There is no point in upgrading your site to responsive design if mobile users will simply find themselves back on pages that are optimized for desktop only if they click on links.

If there is content that you’d rather hide because it is not relevant to mobile users, it is best to redirect those links to mobile friendly pages if you don’t want to take the time to build new responsive pages for the content.

Test Your Site Before You Launch
While your new site design may work on your own devices, it is a good idea to run usability tests to ensure that your site will work for real users. The testing phase ensures that you discover any problems with the UX for your site prior to its release. Even if you plan to use a template that you purchased as a new site design, don’t skip out on this important step of website design.

 

About the Author
Brian Hong
http://www.infintechdesigns.com
Infintech Designs is a New Orleans based SEO & Web Design company.  They provide data driven, measurable internet marketing campaigns with trackable results.  Brian Hong and his small team of SEO ninjas are dedicated to increasing their client’s search engine visibility, leads, and sales online.

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