Computer Arts - - Back To Basics -

We asked three ex­perts for their ad­vice on get­ting started in re­spon­sive web design

_COLLABORATION IS KEY “The best sites are those that have been de­signed in a col­lab­o­ra­tive en­vi­ron­ment,” says Sean Masters, cre­ative di­rec­tor at Le­ices­ter­shire mar­ket­ing agency Masters Allen. “De­sign­ers should work closely with devel­op­ers, us­ing tools like Adobe XD to help build an un­der­stand­ing be­tween both par­ties as to how func­tion­al­ity or user sto­ries can best be im­ple­mented.”

_KEEP THINGS SIM­PLE “Too many sites are un­nec­es­sar­ily com­pli­cated for vis­i­tors’ needs,” adds Masters. “De­sign­ers need to re­mem­ber the im­por­tance of keep­ing the design sim­ple and not over-en­gi­neer­ing a site’s nav­i­ga­tion. This in­cludes en­sur­ing that load­ing times are kept to a min­i­mum. Us­ing flex­i­ble as­sets like Google Fonts and Font Awe­some, along with a stripped back design ap­proach, re­ally helps here – even with video use.”

_USE TEST­ING TOOLS “Chrome and newer ver­sions of Opera – which is my per­sonal favourite – have great re­spon­sive test­ing tools so you can see how your web­site will look at dif­fer­ent screen sizes,” ex­plains Chris But­ter­worth, head of dig­i­tal at The Dis­trict. “Also, li­braries like Ham­mer.js are amaz­ing for de­tect­ing dif­fer­ent in­ter­act­ing meth­ods.”

_WORK WITH REAL CON­TENT “Use the ac­tual con­tent that your users will see – not dummy or place­holder con­tent,” says Philip Lack­maker, se­nior UX de­signer for global dig­i­tal agency Potato. “This will help you struc­ture the page and un­der­stand the in­for­ma­tion hi­er­ar­chies you are try­ing to build.” You should also try to imag­ine the ‘worst case sce­nario’ in terms of how the con­tent will ap­pear, he con­tin­ues, and use that as your ref­er­ence.

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