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Designing a Responsive Website in 2023

Responsive Websites are Never Finished

Designing a responsive website is essential in today's digital world, is a difficult and ongoing challenge for web professionals.

The difficulties of producing a shop-front that is visually appealing, intuitive and understandable to your target market is a hugely complex and time-consuming task. Also, it is a task that is never finished; every day a new mobile device comes out or a new feature in CSS, HTML or JavaScript appears, breaking or at vey least disturbing your previously prefect landing and product pages.

To stay profitable and usable, a responsive website needs to adapt to different screen sizes across at least four major browser systems, Chrome, MS-Edge, Safari and Firefox.

Below are some of the key considerations to address when designing a responsive e-commerce website.

Store Layout

A responsive website layout should be designed to work on various screen sizes. The layout must be flexible, allowing it to resize and adjust according to the screen size of the device and the browser used to view the website. Designers need to consider the order the content displays in and often need to add code to surface page elements in different order depending on the viewing device.

Online Store Navigation

Navigation is an essential aspect of website design and is vital for on-line stores, to ensure that customers can connect with the products they seek in the shortest possible time. Responsive website design requires careful consideration of the navigation menu, often with mobile devices and desktop devices having two completely different menu systems.

Choosing a Readable Font for eCommerce

Typography is an essential design element in any website. A responsive website must use typography that is easy to read and legible on all devices. How many times can you recall receiving a newsletter on your phone that is impossible to read without enlarging and scrolling? The font size should be adaptable to different screen sizes, and the line spacing and paragraph width should be optimized for readability.

Choosing Appropriate Images and Graphics

Images and graphics are essential to make your products and landing pages look enticing for potential buyers. Take time picking images and videos, avoid images that are in common use or that you remember from other websites. Nothing detracts from a site more than staged stock photos, that popup on all manner of websites.

Also, sizing images correctly is key. Big images can significantly impact the website's load time and thus degrade user experience, which directly affects sales. If one of your webpages loads slowly for no apparent reason, always check the size of the images on the page! 

Judicial Use of Media Queries

Media queries are an essential aspect of responsive website design. Media queries allow the website to detect the device's screen size and adjust the website's layout accordingly. Media queries can be used to change the font size, layout, or navigation menu, depending on the device used to view the website.

Testing, Testing and More Testing

Testing is essential to ensure that the website functions well on different devices. Test the website on various devices with different screen sizes to ensure that it works correctly. Testing should be conducted throughout the design process, including during the prototyping and development phases.

In conclusion, designing a responsive website requires careful planning, layout, navigation, typography, images and graphics, media queries, and testing. These elements should be optimized for different screen sizes to ensure that the website is user-friendly and accessible on all devices. 

About the author

Howard Rybko

Over 25-years experience in software development and web based applications. 

Specialised in e-commerce marketing and strategy.