The web has gone through many phases in its short life. Today, unfortunately, is the day of overly large RWD sites and resurgance of Flash-like interaction. Both of which seem highly contradictory to the industries recent focus on cross-device experiences and performance.
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From a dev point of view this latest announcement seems to push brands further toward using responsive design to cater for mobile and tablet users as opposed to an m. subdomain or dynamic serving of content based on device. Google likes responsive design because the right content is always served to the user, even if it isnt necessarily specifically targeted on them.
As if we needed another reason to want to push the world to a mobile ready web.
We took a popular ecommerce store (O’Neill Clothing) that we’d recently redesigned and monitored conversions, transactions and revenue for three weeks. Then we quietly deployed the responsive conditions to the already live site and monitored for another three weeks.
This was not an A/B test. We simply picked 6 non-holiday weeks that perform similarly year over year to get as near to similar conditions as we could.
The “responsive conditions” were typical mobile patterns. We made the site fluid. We collapsed the primary navigation menu, allowing visitors to expand it by tapping a Menu link. We increased the size of the font, the tap areas and detail photos. We reduced the number of columns. We spent a lot of time just “fixing Magento forms.” Everything in a way that lets the O’Neill team continue to manage 100% of the content on the site.
Here’s what we found:
CONVERSIONS: + 65.71%
TRANSACTIONS: + 112.50%
REVENUE: + 101.25%
CONVERSIONS: + 407.32%
TRANSACTIONS: + 333.33%
REVENUE: + 591.42%
Not sure I ever posted this, but it’s Sparkbox’s Github from their Build Responsively conference.
Some great stuff in here!
I’ve ran into this in the past, do you do a lightbox on a small screen? Initially I thought the answer was yes, but the more I think about the more I realize I was totally wrong. This article expands on the mistake made in the first year or so of thinking RWD:
The purpose of a lightbox is to display a larger image corresponding to the selected thumbnail version while keeping the user on the same page instead of linking directly to a page showing the full image. Again, there are an abundance of solutions for solving this problem but the vast majority of existing patterns translate poorly to smaller displays. In fact you may argue that a lightbox shouldn’t even exist on small displays. — Jordan Moore
I wholeheartedly agree with Jordan, yet I’m seeing more and more lightboxes on responsive sites. There are even plenty of tools and tutorials encouraging designers to continue this flawed pattern (on small screens at least).
So what’s a better alternative to lightboxes for small screens?
In his article Why Separate Mobile & Desktop Web Pages?, Luke Wroblewski discusses treating large and small screens differently when handling certain kinds of interactions:
Interactions that happen through modal dialogs or across modules/panels on large screens often make more sense as separate pages on smaller screens. —Luke Wroblewski
Luke and others often point to Facebook as a good example of when small screens get separate pages while large screen get a lightbox.
This sounds pretty awesome and something we’ll have to take into account moving forward with RWD.
The practice of implementing responsive images is still in its infancy. We’ve seen a lot of ideas and suggestions for how it should be done and we’re bound to see a lot more.
Today we’re going to look at a fascinating little framework that allows you to not only automatically resize your images when the viewport changes, but also crop the images with a specific important focal point in mind. Amazingly enough, it does all this with pure CSS. Read on to see how it works.
Read it all here:
What’s the easiest way to scale background images in responsive layouts? We use an old technique and enhance it to fluidly change the aspect ratio of background images.
Responsive layouts make it possible to dynamically scale the width of a website to fit on small mobile devices as well as larger desktop computers. An element with a percentual width will have its height automatically adjusted. Its aspect ratio remains the same when it is resized.
If we want to accomplish the same with background images we must figure out how to maintain the aspect ratio of any HTML element.
This is badass. Click the link. A true “interactive” infographic.
Michael is discussing. Toggle Comments
Top and left navigations are typical on large screens, but lack of screen real estate on small screens makes for an interesting challenge. As responsive design becomes more popular, it’s worth looking at the various ways of handling navigation for small screen sizes. Mobile web navigation must strike a balance between quick access to a site’s information and unobtrusiveness.
Here’s some of the more popular techniques for handling navigation in responsive designs:
- Top Nav or “Do Nothing” Approach
- The Footer Anchor
- The Select Menu
- The Toggle
- The Left Nav Flyout
- The Footer Only
- The “Hide and Cry”
There are of course advantages and disadvantages of each method and definitely some things to look out for when choosing what method’s right for your project.
The Google’s is getting into the responsive game. This could be huge for the ‘movement’.
What if you only had to build one website design and it would fit all devices, big or small? You can, with a Responsive Web Design. Responsive Web Design RWD essentially indicates that a website is crafted to use W3C CSS3 media queries with fluid proportion-based grids to adapt the layout to the users viewing environment. While it is still in the early stages of acceptance, this new standard in web development could be the future. Here we get you up-to-speed.
WOW this will come in mad handy as we build some RWD sites this year.
MUST SEE and TEST to understand what i mean.
Just a simple calculator to help turn your PSD pixel perfection into the start of your responsive website.