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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Responsive Web Design

January 17, 2019 No Comments

Featured article by Sarah Morris, Independent Technology Author

book 300x238 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing a Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design means having a user-friendly website on all devices. Most online searches are now coming from mobile devices. Therefore, Google now considers a site’s mobile presence when ranking websites.

If your website is not mobile-friendly, you will likely rank low in search engines. Therefore, it is a top priority to create a site that’s compatible with desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices.

To optimize your website, avoid these web design mistakes:

1. Improper Device Classification

Devices that are used to view apps and websites come in various screen sizes. For instance, mobile phones of different brands and models have varying screen sizes that sometimes change with each updated version, and desktop screen sizes range from small to as huge as the size of televisions. If your web design focuses on specific devices, your site’s responsiveness will most likely suffer when new device models arrive.

When building your website or app, hire web developers and mobile app designers that create designs which are responsive to screen sizes instead of the devices itself.

Instead of using device classifications – namely, phones, tablets, and desktops – consider the following screen sizes for your web and app design:

- Microscreens
- Small screens
- Mid-range screens
- Large screens
- Extra-large screens

2. Lack of Buttons

Buttons are important tools on your website. For instance, if your site is about creating an engineering resume template, you must have buttons that guide visitors to download or purchase such templates.

Note that most users are on mobile phones, so make your buttons mobile-friendly. Some buttons may work well on a desktop, but too small or too large buttons sometimes malfunction on mobiles. To avoid this, you should use the average touch size: 10 mm × 10 mm.

To create effective buttons, do the following:

- Make clickable buttons, ones that the users are already familiar with. Use visual signifiers such as size, shape, and color to make them look like a button.

- Put the buttons where they are easy to find. Place call-to-action (CTA) buttons on the lower-left corner for easy access.

- Don’t create misleading buttons. Label them with what they are intended to do. For example, use “Remove” or “Delete” instead of “OK.”

- Don’t overload your users with buttons. Create buttons only for the most critical actions that visitors will take.

3. Suboptimal Performance

Slow loading time negatively affects your website’s search engine rating. Users are likely to bounce when your site is taking too much time to load.

Your site must be designed for peak performance—whatever device your users operate.

Here are tips to improve your website’s performance:

- Include images or multimedia that are only essential to your content.
- Remove unnecessary third-party tools such as JavaScript libraries.
- Use browser caching to store commonly used files on your site.
- Too many plugins mean more requests, so only use plugins that are necessary.
- Update your CMS by installing the latest versions of all software to make your site load smoothly.

4. Underutilized Links

Linking is one way to direct users to relevant content or pages. External or internal linking also boosts your site. It helps users find what they’re looking for. When you link out, you establish positive participation with the community.

However, if you link your site to a non-mobile-friendly website, you may lose an online user. It’s vital to check the sites when linking your website. If you want to connect to an external source, choose responsive websites to provide users with the same responsive experience they have from your site.

5. Neglected Touch Design

Most screen sizes allow different input methods, including touch. Designing for touch means designing for thumbs – thumbs rule the game for mobile phones. When you use your touch screen phone, you use one hand, and specifically your thumb, to navigate pages. Proper touch design ensures physical comfort and ease.

The touch design is becoming increasingly crucial for desktops and laptops, too. Therefore, it is vital that touch design should cater to all screen sizes.

Here are the common mistakes to avoid when it comes to touch functionality:

- Placing items too close to each other, causing interface errors. Use spacing with a minimum of 23 points.
- Not pinning controls on edges like right or left for easy thumb access.
- Small touch targets that do not accommodate large fingers.


Responsive web design is essential for websites. Proper web design can make your website rank high on SEO. However, when you don’t pay attention to your web design in terms of device classification, links, buttons, performance, and touch speed, your ranking in search engines may suffer. All of these mistakes make your website non-mobile-friendly. Therefore, avoid them and make your site responsive for all devices and users.





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