Two prospective clients recently asked for my thoughts about their sites. One site was launched over a year ago and the other has yet to be born.
Both shared something in common. Neither was responsive. That is, the designs of each site were not appropriate for mobile devices. Since so much web traffic originates from mobile devices – even for a site you’d think no one would use with a cellphone – having a mobile friendly web site design isn’t just a nice idea. It’s a must.
There is no excuse building a site today that is not mobile ready. How that’s done is something I can tackle in a future post. Right now I’m going to show you how to tell if a web site is responsive. And by responsive I mean that it looks and works well no matter what the device.
The Down And Dirty Way To Check
Here’s a little video of what I and many others do to quickly gauge whether their site is responsive.
Running Time: 5:30
There are free online tools which work a bit like HTML and CSS Validation (if you know what those are and I know my students do).
Most of these work by copying then pasting the URL of the page you are checking into a text box then seeing the results.
This one is so cool. You can easily check on 10 different display environments. What’s more you get a working version of your site in all of these options. A wonderful tool!
This one is much simpler and it shows a web page in fully functional representations of a cellphone, tablet and desktop. But when I tried it I saw scroll bars in the cellphone and tablet sims which made the simulation look unrealistic.
To be sure Responsive Design is an interesting and complicated subject. It’s not just how something looks but how users will interact with your site. Emulators like I show you here don’t test for touch events like pinch or swipe. For that I recommended that you do real world testing on the devices you know your audience is using.
Lots of different approaches here. Just wondering what you do.