FIVE COM­MON MIS­TAKES

Computer Arts - - Digital Design Skills -

OUR EX­PERTS HIGH­LIGHT ER­RORS THAT KEEP CROP­PING UP WHEN IT COMES TO RE­SPON­SIVE WEB­SITES

1 LACK OF EM­PA­THY

“The big­gest mis­takes you can make when it comes to re­spon­sive web design are the fol­low­ing: treat­ing the web as if it were print, not putting your­self in other peo­ple’s shoes, and mak­ing as­sump­tions,” says Bill Kingston of Elixirr Cre­ative.

2 LEGIBILITY IS­SUES

“A com­mon mis­take I’ve found new­bies make is the use of tiny font sizes on mo­bile,” says Joel May­nard of Su­perrb. “Big­ger fonts may not be as vis­ually pleas­ing from a de­signer’s per­spec­tive, but text has to be leg­i­ble, oth­er­wise it may as well not be there.”

3 TEXT WRAP­PING

“Is­sues with text wrap­ping are com­mon,” says Chris Robin­son of ustwo. “It’s easy to design lay­outs that look per­fect, yet the mo­ment you use vari­able ‘real’ con­tent it be­comes a mess. So it’s im­por­tant to stress-test lay­outs with the type of con­tent you ex­pect to see. There are great plug­ins for pop­u­lar design tools that can help you do this.”

4 BRO­KEN HI­ER­AR­CHY

“I of­ten see hi­er­ar­chy fall down on mo­bile,” adds Robin­son. “Calls to ac­tions get pushed out of view, which can re­ally im­pact per­for­mance. It’s also com­mon to see an in­ter­ac­tion that works well on a mouse-driven in­ter­face but falls down com­pletely on touch; or design for spe­cific de­vices, rather than a good range of break­points.”

5 TAK­ING SHORT­CUTS

“I think the most com­mon mis­take for those learn­ing any­thing is try­ing to take short­cuts; don’t,” says Chris But­ter­worth of The Dis­trict. “If I was learn­ing RWD again, I’d read up on mo­bile-first de­vel­op­ment, which I see as best prac­tice for mak­ing re­spon­sive de­signs, and move for­ward with that,” he ex­plains.

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