The problem with responsive design57% of mobile device users won’t recommend businesses with poor mobile site designs, and 48% say that businesses with mobile sites that don’t function properly have the appearance of not caring. There are several problem areas that most companies run into with their responsive websites:
Image placementPast design processes have dictated that the client approves static images and screenshots before the development phase. Today, design is more focused on the rearrangement of elements for different device dimensions and much less focused on the placement of static images.
Screen squeezeShowcasing data on a small screen often makes it difficult to see or read content, especially tables of information. The W3C actually encourages brands to choose a method other than tables and tabs to present data; complicated user interfaces simply contain too much information for mobile devices to handle.
Perspective shiftAbove all, the problem with responsive design is simply a matter of the customers’ perspectives vs. the companies’ perspectives. Unfortunately, most businesses tend to ask themselves what they want to tell their customers rather than how their customers want to view and interact with that information. For example, while registration workflows are generally the most important aspect of web design, they’re often a low priority. That’s because businesses think more about the functionality they want customers to see than the logical point of entry and primary workflow the customers are looking for. Simply put, responsive design isn’t the ultimate solution for giving users what they need from a website; it still leaves much to be desired.
Update responsive or upgrade to adaptive?When it comes to web design, the key conversation brands need to have boils down to the concept of responsive vs. adaptive websites. The responsive approach takes the current site and fits it to varying screen sizes, while the adaptive approach actually changes content and how it functions based on the screen size. [pullquote]Responsive web design assumes that your content and functionality should be the same across all devices — but that’s not necessarily true[/pullquote] I generally advocate for more of an adaptive web design method, as opposed to simply stacking content, for one important reason: Responsive web design assumes that your content and functionality should be the same across all devices — but that’s not necessarily true. The key is to match the nature of the content with the use-case and the context in which users are looking at your website. For example, let’s say you’re designing a responsive site for a brand in the consumer packaged goods or consumer gift industries. The promotions and offers pages for these types of sites generally receive the most online traffic. People rarely look at product details, but when they do, a great way to highlight those details is to show how they compare to other items. With that in mind, you should put product visualization and educational content on product pages so you can help consumers understand how to use and engage with your product. For the consumer packaged goods industry, you want to get to know your customers and determine whether they’re pre-, in-, or post-store. You’ll need to create a different experience depending on where the customer is in the path to purchase. Here’s a short breakdown of each path:
- Pre-store: People who are pre-store are probably going to get to the site through social media or an ad, and they’ll probably be looking for coupons, offers, or recipes (in the case of food).
- In-store: Once they’re in-store, they’re probably looking for coupons, reviews, or price comparisons with other sellers.
- Post-store: When they’re post-store, they’re probably looking for branded content.
Hathway CSMO¬†Kevin Rice‚Äôs entrepreneurial spirit and deep understanding of the digital landscape across industries allow him to not only help brands dominate their markets in ‚Äúthe now,‚Äù but also prepare them to pioneer at ‚Äúwhat‚Äôs next.‚Äù It‚Äôs this skill that has helped Kevin grow Hathway, the agency he co-founded with CEO Jesse Dundon in 2008, to 50 employees, three offices, and No. 601 on the 2014 Inc. 5000 list.
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