Field of Screens: Build It Well And They Will Come, Stay And Play
So how do you build a website well?
Well, like this…
Rhythm's Approach: No Screen Left Behind
Responsive web design is getting a lot of attention theses days (and rightly so). If you're unfamiliar with the concept, responsive web design is simply an approach that allows a website to seamlessly switch between different screen sizes – from smartphones to tablets to laptops to desktops. In other words, it enables a website to automatically respond to the user's preferences on the fly.
Responsive design differs from traditional design in that it eliminates the need to create custom standalone websites for separate devices. So, not only does a responsive approach better accommodate a user's preferences, it also helps "future proof" a website since it's already created to adapt to a variety of current (and perhaps future) screen sizes.
Responsive design also provides SEO benefits that drive traffic. In fact, just last month Google updated their algorithm to give better rankings to mobile optimized and responsive sites. At Rhythm, we're no strangers to responsive web design, having built our first responsive website in 2010.
Since that time, mobile use has continued to skyrocket, with an astounding 80% of global internet users now owning a smartphone. Over the course of the last half-decade, we've also been perfecting our "no screen left behind" approach that responsiveness enables, resulting in scores of mobile-friendly websites that continue to outperform their peers.
A Mobile-First Philosophy
There are a variety of ways to approach responsive web design. At Rhythm, we follow a mobile-first philosophy. This means that we begin the web-design process by first considering the mobile presentation – how a website will expand from smaller to larger screens – rather than the other way around.
This not only prioritizes the fastest-growing internet platform (mobile), the limited display space that mobile permits forces us and the client to identify the top three things of value to potential website visitors. This streamlining of design typically results in a more focused and valuable user experience across all screen sizes.
We also collaborate as a team very early in the process. This allows our designers and developers to contribute thoughts and ideas before web projects get too far down the road. With mobile-first, we usually want to get to the prototype stage early so we can show the client how things will come together – how the screen will expand or contract, how the elements will reshuffle, how touch gesture enhancements will be added, etc. Early and continuous collaboration helps us make this possible and ensures that our designs can successfully scale from mobile to desktop.
An Eye On The Future
The web is constantly evolving and what's hot today (iPhone 6) can be outdated tomorrow. With this in mind, we build our sites to be as future proof as possible. And while no one can predict what's around the corner, that doesn't stop our designers and developers from creating websites that scale. In fact, many of them are already tinkering with the Apple Watch in the likely event that its screen size becomes the next frontier in web design. Tick-tock…