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Responsive Web Design is About User Experience

By: Synecore



So you want to create a website with a great user experience, but how do you go about it?

This may seem obvious, but the only way to create a strong user is experience is to design for the user, rather than the device.
Think about the typical user that is going to visit your webpage—he or she might be using a tablet device, but could also be using a smartphone or desktop computer. Therefore it is wise to design a website that is optimized for all three devices, not just one or two. Although it sounds complex to design for multiple devices, the truth is actually the opposite thanks to Responsive Web Design (RWD).
What is Responsive Web Design?
According to Wikipedia, RWD is “an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide arrange of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).” The great thing about RWD is that it adapts the website’s layout to any device’s screen size by using “fluid and proportion-based grids, flexible images and media queries.”
Read more on website design.
RWD is the easiest way to optimize your website seamlessly across all devices. Only one set of code and content is required, which makes RWD a particularly attractive design configuration. However, RWD isn’t enough to guarantee a solid user experience on its own.
Why RWD is an Essential Step for a Better User Experience
Before now, most consumers browsed the web using desktop computer, but times have changed. This year, it is projected that mobile Internet users will surpass desktop users, which means that businesses hoping to be successful need to optimize for mobile.
In order for mobile users to have a positive experience on your website, they must be able to easily navigate and take advantage of its functions. If your website is only optimized for desktop computers, it isn’t going to be friendly to mobile users, who will most likely have to pinch and zoom to accomplish anything substantial.
RWD Doesn’t Guarantee a Good User Experience
Just because you’ve built an RWD website doesn’t mean that it will automatically provide a great user experience. There are more factors at play, such as color contrast techniques and readability. The data needs to be visually appealing and needs to entice the user to work with it.
Even if your website is responsive, if the colors and layout make it less functional, it will turn off users. For example, if the background of a website is black and the text is dark gray in color, it won’t be easily readable. Anyone who visits that website, no matter which device they’re using, is going to have a bad experience.
The Takeaway
Overall, the most important thing to consider as a web developer or business owner is the user. Today, users browse the web on a variety of devices. The days of fixed width desktop design have come and gone, and the mobile revolution is well underway.
Mobile users are projected to be a majority online by the end of 2015. Since this is the case, business and web developers who avoid optimizing for mobile run the risk of turning away new prospects and losing existing customers.  In addition, simply creating a website with a responsive design is not enough. There are a host of factors that must work together in harmony to ensure a strong user experience. RWD is only the beginning.
This article was originally published by SyneCore
Published: March 20, 2015

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