4 Pitfalls To Avoid With Responsive Web Design

Suzanne McKee
Suzanne McKee

Responsive web design, mobile-first, Google algorithms — the list of technology that you need to stay current seems unending, and it can get a bit overwhelming trying to stay at the forefront of it all. Tech words aside, the end result is a simple concept — create an online presence where you can connect with customers and prospects from their device of choice.

In order to stay relevant, your company needs to be available and accessible where your customers are looking, whether it be on a full-sized desktop, a tablet, or a phone. Not only is responsive design critical for your customers, but Google has all but made it a requirement if you want your company to appear in their search results.

When moving from a static web design to responsive design, here are four pitfalls to avoid from a project management standpoint.

Pitfall #1: Phasing It In

In theory, it sounds like a good idea to focus on certain parts of your site first and then move on to others and approach the project in phases. In practice, going from a static design to a responsive design changes everything, so it is best to be prepared to tackle it all to prevent surprises and roadblocks along the way.

Think of static design like a fishbowl. The glass container creates a definite border that holds in the water, fish, and rocks. If you take away the container (responsive design) and the water can take any shape, the fish are flopping and the rocks are everywhere. In other words, when the contents can take any shape it changes more than just the look and feel of it, but the entire structure around your website, as well.

Instead, start off the project by detailing out every section and design element that will be affected, and make a plan before you dive in to the redesign.

A few of the big elements to make sure you consider:
• Header/navigation design
• Footer design
• Internal page layouts: Try to create a package of templates instead of having a unique design for every single page
• Images: Be sure to keep aspect ratios and maximum sizes of images in mind to prevent stretching and image distortion.

Pitfall #2: Creating Your Desktop Design First

This is where mobile-first thinking comes in. It is so much easier to give something small more room than it is to cram something big into a tiny space. With that in mind, create a site that is appealing and user friendly at that smallest screen size first, and then build the design out so it works on larger screens, as well.

There are almost as many device sizes as there are people viewing them. Pick the size breaks (i.e., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, desktop) that will impact your customers most and then build out your designs utilizing those media sizes.

Pitfall #3: Going It Alone

It is critical to hire a web designer who is proficient in both UI (user-interface) concepts and coding best practices. You need someone on your team who truly understands how all of the responsive design elements interact with each other and who knows how to make a site that is both visually appealing and easy to navigate for your customers.

Between media queries, CSS, HTML, and JavaScript,etc., it is critical to have an expert working for you to achieve a website that looks great and functions even better.

Pitfall #4: Testing Only On Your Device Of Choice

Testing your site needs to be inherent throughout the entire process to make sure that your perfect site is truly perfect for everyone. Different browsers interpret code differently, and some really innovative coding options are not compatible with all browsers.

You can’t just test on your own computer and phone and assume that it will work the same for everyone. You will need to enlist a team of people using all different kinds of technologies to make sure that your site is working like it is supposed to for everyone.

There are different developer tools available on every browser that can help to simulate the experience from different devices, but to thoroughly test, people should be using actual devices to make sure you aren’t missing something.

It may seem too overwhelming to take the plunge into responsive design, but with some good advance planning and getting the right team on board, the project can actually be fun. Most importantly, it will encourage you to dig a little deeper into what your customers need and how to best provide it to them —a win for everyone.

Topics: , ,

Leave a Reply

One comment on “4 Pitfalls To Avoid With Responsive Web Design

  1. […] With modern-day technology improving everyday at a phenomenal rate, it can be overwhelming staying current retaining all the changes. Simply stated, you need to continue creating a strong online presence where you can connect with customers from their device of choice. In order to stay relevant, your company needs to be accessible by whatever mobile device that they are using. Responsive design is critical for your customers. However, Google has all but made it a requirement if you want your company to appear near the top of their search results. When moving to responsive design, here are four snags to avoid from a project management standpoint. Incorporating It In In practice, going from a static design to a responsive design changes everything and may be very different from what you are used to . It is best to be prepared to tackle it all to prevent surprises and obstacles along the way. In essence, static design is like a fishbowl. The glass container creates a definite border that holds in the water and fish. If you take away the container (responsive design), the water can take any shape. When the contents can take any shape, it changes more than just the look and feel of it but the entire structure around your website as well. Instead, start off the project by detailing every section and design element that will be affected. It’s vital to make a plan before you dive in to the redesign. A few of the big elements to consider are the following: • Header/navigation design • Footer design • Internal page layouts – Try to create several templates instead of having a unique design for every single page • Images – Be sure to keep aspect ratios and maximum sizes of images to prevent stretching and image distortion. Create Your Desktop Design First This is where the idea of mobile first comes in. It is so much easier to use something small than it is to cram something big into a tiny space. So, you need to be aware about creating a site that is appealing and user friendly at that smallest screen level, and then build the design so it works on larger screens as well. There are A multitude of device sizes that people are utilizing. Media sizes, such as cell phones, tablets, laptops and desktops, will impact your customers most. You will need to create your designs around these. Going It Alone It is critical to hire a web designer proficient in user-interface (UI) concepts and coding. Your “team” needs to understand how all of the responsive design elements interact with each other. It’s crucial to know how to make a website that is both visually appealing and easy to navigate for your customers. Between all media queries, it is critical to have an expert working for you to achieve a website that looks great and functions even better. Testing Only On Your Device Of Choice Testing your site needs to be perfect and that is truly perfect for everyone. Different browsers interpret code differently, and some really innovative coding options are not compatible with all browsers. You can’t test on your own computer and phone and assume that it will work for everyone. You will need to enlist a team of people proficient in all kinds of technologies to make sure that your site is working like it should be for everyone. There are different developer tools available on every browser that can help to simulate the experience from different devices. However, to thoroughly test, people should be using actual devices to make sure you aren’t missing something. It may seem very overwhelming to take the plunge into responsive design, but with some good advance planning and getting the right team on board, the project can actually be fun. Most importantly, it will encourage you to dig deeper into what your customers need and how to best provide it to them. To me, that’s a win-win scenario for everyone! Based on article by Suzanne McKee Link: http://www.greenhousegrower.com/business-management/4-pitfalls-to-avoid-with-responsive-web-design/ […]

More From Business Management...
Workers

July 23, 2016

5 Reasons To Invest In Employee Training

Training and developing your employees is critical to the future success of your organization and the horticulture industry at large. Here are five reasons why your employees are worth the effort.

Read More
BeeSmart

July 21, 2016

How You Can Get Involved In Research

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) supports scientific research and students for the advancement of the horticultural industry.

Read More
Luxflora Flower Run

July 20, 2016

First-Ever Flower Run Was A Big Success, Luxflora Says

Kicking off Cultivate’16 on Sunday, July 10, Luxflora’s first annual 5K saw nearly 150 participants racing through the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus under clear blue skies and perfect conditions. It was a great way to start the week, participants said. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Flower Run: First Place: Jacob Griffith Gardner Second Place: Mike Goyette Third Place: Jack Ford The top three winners — and all of the Flower Run participants — were showered with flower petals when they crossed the finish line, making for a colorful and fragrant finish to an invigorating experience. “Personally, I would consider it a grand success,” says Luxflora President Rebecca Lusk. “The overall mood was fantastic, from start to finish. There were many high fives and group hugs, numerous duo phone selfies and postings to social media, while participants enjoyed their bananas and bottled water donated by Experience Columbus. Most […]

Read More
Latest Stories
Workers

July 23, 2016

5 Reasons To Invest In Employee Training

Training and developing your employees is critical to the future success of your organization and the horticulture industry at large. Here are five reasons why your employees are worth the effort.

Read More
BeeSmart

July 21, 2016

How You Can Get Involved In Research

The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) supports scientific research and students for the advancement of the horticultural industry.

Read More
Luxflora Flower Run

July 20, 2016

First-Ever Flower Run Was A Big Success, Luxflora Says

Kicking off Cultivate’16 on Sunday, July 10, Luxflora’s first annual 5K saw nearly 150 participants racing through the picturesque Scioto Audubon Park in Columbus under clear blue skies and perfect conditions. It was a great way to start the week, participants said. Congratulations to the winners of the first-ever Flower Run: First Place: Jacob Griffith Gardner Second Place: Mike Goyette Third Place: Jack Ford The top three winners — and all of the Flower Run participants — were showered with flower petals when they crossed the finish line, making for a colorful and fragrant finish to an invigorating experience. “Personally, I would consider it a grand success,” says Luxflora President Rebecca Lusk. “The overall mood was fantastic, from start to finish. There were many high fives and group hugs, numerous duo phone selfies and postings to social media, while participants enjoyed their bananas and bottled water donated by Experience Columbus. Most […]

Read More

July 19, 2016

Do You Grow Young Plants? Only 4 Days Left To Take Our …

If your operation produces plugs or liners for wholesale growers, please take a few minutes to participate in Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Young Plant Grower Survey. We know you are very busy and we value your time and input. This survey should only take a few minutes. Greenhouse Grower’s Young Plant Grower Survey has played a key role in building our Top 20 Young Plant Growers list over the years. The information helps us zero in on trends taking shape and the challenges you’re facing as young plant growers. If you have any questions about this survey or you are not the right contact for this at your operation, please email me at [email protected], or please forward the survey link to the appropriate person. We would like to wrap up this survey by July 25, so please take it soon! Thank you in advance for your participation. We value your opinion! » […]

Read More

July 9, 2016

Market The Experience Of Gardening, Minus The Fuss

Greenhouse Grower editor Laura Drotleff says the industry should promote plants and gardening in bite-size chunks that help consumers build skills.

Read More
Grower Education

July 7, 2016

Two Industry Veterans Discuss How To Meet The Challenge…

Two industry players have a conversation on how we can deliver the level of grower education needed to address complex issues associated with production practices and pest management strategies.

Read More
Briscoe White, Growers Exchange

July 6, 2016

The Grower’s Exchange Unlocks The Secret to E-Commerce

In the Internet era, Briscoe and Kenan White knew they had to adapt or die and specialize to survive. Here’s how they took The Grower’s Exchange online.

Read More
Brie Arthur

July 6, 2016

5 Can’t-Miss Events To Watch For At Farwest 2016

Whether it’s classes on biocontrols and gardening trends, or networking opportunities in and around the trade show floor, there’s plenty happening at Farwest 2016 in Portland, OR, in August.

Read More
'Violets Pride' from Week's Roses Downton Abbey Garden Rose Collection

July 6, 2016

6 Key Insights From The Generations Of Flowers Study

Being local and offering expert recommendations are hidden opportunities in the floral business. This was one of six insights during a recent webinar analyzing the Generations of Flowers study from the Society of American Florists and the American Floral Endowment.

Read More
Joe Lamp'l

July 1, 2016

Gardening Personality Joe Lamp’l Will Be Keynote Speake…

Lamp’l, who hosts the PBS series “Growing a Greener World,” will discuss effective ways to build your business and keep your customers.

Read More
Cannabis states 2016

July 1, 2016

Adult Use Of Cannabis On The Ballot In 2016

25 states have legalized cannabis and public opinion is increasingly positive. Here’s where things may be headed as we move toward the fall elections.

Read More
Robert Conrad, Ball Seed Technology Research Manager

June 27, 2016

Ball Premier Lab Wins Medal Of Excellence Award For Its…

Over the past 30 years, the Ball Premier Lab has set the standard for high-quality seed in the industry, earning it Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Medal Of Excellence for Industry Achievement, for its dedication to advancing seed and helping growers improve their margins.

Read More
North Creek Nurseries lower trials

June 24, 2016

North Creek Nurseries Is A Finalist For 2016 Operation …

North Creek Nurseries in Landenberg, PA, is one of three finalists for Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Operation Of The Year award and winner of the Excellence In Sustainable Production award for 2016.

Read More
Vic Frey, Kurt Weiss Greenhouses Feature

June 23, 2016

Vic Frey Named A Finalist For 2016 Head Grower Of The Y…

Vic Frey, a finalist for the 2016 Head Grower of the Year and recipient of the 2016 Excellence In Production award, was always willing to trial and experiment with the latest technology. He loved the constant change in this industry, and turned every opportunity into a teaching moment.

Read More
Albert Grimm, Jefferys Greenhouses

June 19, 2016

Albert Grimm Named A Finalist For 2016 Head Grower Of T…

Grimm, winner of Greenhouse Grower's Excellence in Outreach and Leadership award, is always willing to listen, continuously learn, and improve. He is a role model and empowers his employees to strive for excellence.

Read More
Practical Software Grower Vertical

June 18, 2016

Practical Software Solutions Increases Accessibility, E…

Practical Software will demonstrate Grower Vertical, its customizable and scalable enterprise management system for the horticulture industry, at Cultivate’16 in July.

Read More
Ornamental kale field at Sunlet Nursery

June 17, 2016

Sunlet Nursery Named As Finalist For 2016 Operation Of …

Sunlet Nursery in Fallbrook, CA, is one of three finalists for Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Operation Of The Year award and winner of the Excellence In Community Leadership award for 2016.

Read More
The-Capitol

June 14, 2016

Fate Of H-2B Program A Hot Topic On Capitol Hill This W…

Following a Senate hearing on the economic impact of the H-2B Program, the House Appropriations Committee was scheduled to take up its own version of a funding bill this week.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]