Website traffic is the key component to building any strong community. As web designers we often forget about the user experience and focus on pretty graphics and pixel icons. However without users our websites would turn into bits of redundant data held on servers across the world.
When building a credible website you must garner each user’s trust and reliability. When undergoing the design process spend some time considering which slices in your layout will be accessed the most. How will users jump from page to page, and how difficult is processing information? If you can indulge a satisfactory answer for these questions you’re on a great path for building responsive websites.
I’ve added a few ideologies below which should get you thinking about website credibility. User Interface design is an entire topic of itself and has grown to enormous proportions in the recent years. Although trends have been changing the end result is always quick access with no-nonsense web browsing.
Gain Your Visitors’ Trust
This should be a no-brainer for any conscious web designer. When you visit a website and are presented with 2 popups and ad space everywhere, you probably aren’t going to input your credit card number anywhere. There are small ticks which give off the impression of a distrustful website, and blatant advertisements is a big one.
This isn’t to imply that advertising holds no importance. In fact it’s the main cash cow for all Internet enthusiasts and webmasters alike. But there is a balance between usability and revenue sharing. On a similar token your visitors will not feel very trusting if you block their path throughout pages.
Examples include websites with jQuery lightboxes and hover effects over drop-down menus which hide page context. Most visitors will not care to signup for your newsletter every time they see your popup displayed. A small registration box in the sidebar is more than enough to capitalize with your target audience while at the same time demonstrating trust.
It’s not so uncommon for websites to behave differently in the many browsers available. Back 10 years ago it was almost impossible for a standards-compliant website to fit the same build on every browser, and this goes double for Internet Explorer.
In today’s modern web we have seen a tremendous amount of growth and maturity with browsers. It seems Google Chrome and Firefox have been leading the way with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 finally succumbing to the bandwagon effect. There are still many bugs to be re-written in browsing software so it’s important to gauge your analytics data and apply bug fixes accordingly. You may be pleasantly surprised with how much traffic actually uses more modern-day browsers such as Firefox or Opera.
Fragmentation of Page Content
Most of the web traffic moving around today is brought through Google searches. We live in a time period where Google is our wisdom keeper and controls all the information we could ever imagine. For this reason it’s very important to keep related information on the same page throughout your websites.
Visitors will be expecting to jump around and search page content for what they’re looking for. The current generation of Internet users are much less patient waiting for results. Possibly the most important aspect of a responsive website is to provide anthropological reasoning into your content hierarchy. Look at your website as a human-constructed tool instead of a technological invention.
Consider your links and paragraphs as the main information streams. Visitors won’t always read everything in-page and tend to skip around for key words. This is important to recognize as once you can grasp content layout it’s easy as pie to build future websites, both client and personal works.
Link hover states also affect your visitor’s psyche. This plays a big role in page fragmentation as visitors are looking for quick responses to hover states. Make sure your hyperlinks stand out from the rest of your page content. This makes scanning content a breeze and saves loads of time on the backs of your visitors.
Relative Flexibility with Media
In-page text isn’t the only way to transmit information. With the constant growth in our web 2.0 era videos and imagery are seen as quicker medium to understanding concepts. YouTube has exploded since originally launching in early 2005. This is not by accident and goes to show just how powerful video content can be.
However a responsive website should be able to handle any form of traffic. This even includes mobile visitors from iOS and Android powered devices, let alone the many tablets on the market today. CSS3 media queries are powerful tools for manipulating your site layout based upon the browsing engine.
If you’d like to remove images for all mobile browsers this can be done with just a few bits of code. You even have the option of switching between CSS3 or jQuery techniques. We’ve outlined possible code examples and many more ideas in previous articles.
It’s tempting to build up a unique and brilliant layout full of vector art. As designers and illustrators we strive for the highest level of completion with our artistic talents. However it’s not always plausible to inflict these types of design on every project.
The purpose of responsive website design is to quickly offer solutions to whatever a user may need. The response time should be faster than lightspeed, meanwhile gently guiding your visitors throughout pages and sub-pages. The ultimate goal is perfect user experience within a broad range of website browsers.
The many challenges facing UX experts today comes with perfecting interfaces inside websites. If you’re looking for tips on user-sensitive layouts we’ve written on many techniques. Complexity is increasing within each launch and it’s important to keep yourself objective in all project works. If you have similar ideas for responsive designs please offer them in the discussions below.