Although responsive web design has been around for several years, it has only recently gained a surge in popularity in the drive for mobile-ready sites and effective UX design.
It is predicted that over the next few years, responsive web design will continue to dominate the web design market, with brands globally jumping on the bandwagon.
This method has been gaining momentum, especially after Google’s mobile-friendly update in April 2016, which prioritizes websites in its ranking system with optimized content for mobile devices and their users.
So, if you’re looking for effective ways to quickly develop a dependable and responsive website, check out the guidelines below to examine the common web design trends, both old and new, which are having an impact on this industry.
1. Attractive typography
Image Source: designchicks.org
Last year, we witnessed some fine examples of designers’ utilizing bold and creative typography to make their message pop off the screen. That trend is still raging as we enter 2018, with designers determined to push the creative boundaries of typography.
Most websites feature creative typefaces that occupy more space on the screen to serve as the main feature of the site.
2. Font resizing for different screens
Image Source: imarc.com
Attention is also paid towards the resizing of a font to fit smaller screen devices, without compromizing the UX.
The best part about this trend that this step doesn’t require a ton of extra effort in terms of coding, due to the use of media queries to progressively resize font to fit smaller screens.
Ultimately, things may reach the point where it will be more suitable to change the placing of the menu to a more desirable position, all the while maintaining the list elements in a corresponding alignment as well.
3. Elongated menus for vertical display
Image Source: rsiconcepts.com
On a small screened device, a long, horizontally stretched menu can be more challenging to navigate and appears aesthetically unappealing. Perhaps the most effective way to counteract this problem is to display the menu in a well-spaced, vertical manner to better fit the small responsive screen size. This makes the complete list falling under the menu available to the user in a more formal and readable manner. The menu items are also easier to browse through and click on.
However, it is not necessary to display the vertical menu in list form. For example, a tabular structure can be equally beneficial given that the menu elements are not that long. Mobile screens already have a restricted viewport that naturally leads to the movement of text in a downwards direction, so this method is bound to give a more pleasurable user experience. This essentially means that you don’t need to worry too much about the vertical menu making your page appear longer.
4. On-screen toggle
Image Source: lets-develop.com
An on-screen toggle can give your site a cleaner look and save space; especially if used for the menu. Additionally, if the font and colors used for the menu are similar to the overall site design scheme, it will give the responsive navigation a more natural and functional feel.
This UX technique also comes in handy for secondary menu items that can be toggled from the same page. For instance, a site can feature a fixed menu on a downward scroll and, a secondary menu item that can be toggled directly from the same page to access deeper links. This method of complementing text content with responsive navigation provides for a smooth user experience – as the user will be able to browse several site pages while saving time on the HTTP requests sent to the server.
5. 3-Bar menu
Image Source: codepen.io
Although the hidden toggle menu (otherwise also known as the 3-bar menu, hamburger menu and sliding drawer menu) is a controversial UI pattern that many people just love to hate, its widespread use makes the layout easily recognizable and hence functional for the average user.
The hidden toggle menu first broke out in the mobile IOS app market, which included complex sliding animation relying on the native Cocoa libraries. The concept has spread to other platforms since then, and now it is a common feature in most responsive site designs.
A great plus of the hidden toggle menu is that it draws the user’s attention towards the links, saves screen space, as well as nicely bringing together the main links and the sub-menu links. Typically, once the menu is toggled it dominates the screen and pushes the on-page content out of focus. This can also be achieved by casting darkness on the on-page content when the menu is toggled, so as to bring greater focus to the latter.
Where to begin?
There are far too many design options available right now and that number will continue growing in the future as well. Due to this, selectively putting together suitable site design elements may initially seem overwhelming. But this same flexibility of responsive web design also promises boundless creativity in a constantly evolving web development scene.
To start, browse through your favorite websites, or templates and themes, and try to identify how they assist in responsive navigation and adapt to user behaviors to create a custom experience. With any luck and proper research, you’ll be able to relate the most effective techniques for your project and build a usable interface that translates to your own take on the trend of responsive web design.
Guest Author: Simon Walker is a professional eCommerce Consultant with over 7 years of experience. He is currently working for FME Extensions, a premium Dubai Web Design Company. He is also consulting businesses to help increase their online exposure and conversions.