3 Responsive Design Mistakes that are Needed to be Avoided Immediately

With the release of the Mobile-friendly Update just a couple of weeks back, Google has made its intentions pretty clear! The Search Engine Giant is not going to tolerate an unsatisfactory mobile surfing experience anymore. And this is reason enough for web designers to buckle up, review the responsive design rule-book, and get everything done the right way!

In the last couple of months, I’ve come across numerous desktop websites and have reopened them in mobile devices to check their responsiveness. While most of the elements were working fine, I did notice three common blunders that will not evade Google’s eyes for long.

So what are these common responsive design blunders that are needed to be stopped right now?

No.1: Distortion of Elements

Responsive element distortion

Apart from quality, the one other factor that makes a content readable is its hierarchy. When I was viewing desktop websites on devices with smaller screen sizes, column layouts were behaving like rows in most cases… and as a result, the hierarchy was getting distorted.

The solution is pretty simple: web designers need to explicitly set the padding, height and width of every element to keep it in position. As an added precaution, designers can also set margins to keep them in place.

No.2: Images with Fixed Width

Fixed width images

An image with fixed width is great to view in desktop websites. When the website is viewed on smaller screens, however, the image is pushed off the screen and the user has to scroll ‘right to left’ in order to see the whole image.

Living at a time when something as convenient as Bootstrap is available, there is absolutely no need to keep an image width fixed. The Bootstrap framework allows designers to use a responsive image class. Or else, you can simply use relative units to set the width.

No.3: Wrapping the Navigation bar

Wrapping menus

This is perhaps the most common responsive design mistake in recent times. As a ideal scenario, the navigation bar of a responsive website becomes more compact when viewed on a smaller screen. And I’ve been seeing innumerable cases where the single-line navigational bar that “wraps” or breaks into a two-line navigational bar.

The first solution is a rather basic one. Designers can try reducing the number of items on the bar and placing them as sub-categories. The second, and more viable, option is changing the break point to a lower value. In this way, wrapping of a navigational bar no longer depends on the device size.

As these are the 3 most commonly encountered responsive design mistakes, web designers must waste no time in fixing these blunders if they are getting unpleasant reviews from mobile visitors.

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