12 Misperceptions About Creating Responsive Website Designs

What are the common misperceptions that people have about creating a truly responsive website for their business?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

1. You Must Design for All Form Factors

You should focus on the two most common form factors: the phone and everything else — desktop, iPad and tablets. The iPad is similar enough, so make your desktop version mobile-friendly. That means no mouseover states, big buttons, etc. Then, you will be fine.
Trevor Sumner, LocalVox

2. You Can Make an Existing Responsive Architecture Work

There are existing frameworks available, such as Twitter Bootstrap, that allow you to easily make a website responsive. However, these frameworks come with guidelines you have to follow in order to achieve a fully responsive design. It’s easy to become overzealous and customize it past the point of achieving a proper responsive design. Test against these errors, and adjust as necessary.
Andy Karuza, Brandbuddee

3. It Is All About Content Flowing Accurately

Responsive design is not just about content flowing accurately within a mobile or tablet-sized screen. True responsive design consists of focusing on the user’s context and adapting the content and layout to fit his needs in that context. Think about when and where mobile, tablets and desktops are used.
Jake Stutzman, Elevate

4. Responsive Sites Don’t Offer Any Control

Many business owners feel that they won’t have as much control over where the elements of a webpage appear on a responsive site as they would over a strictly mobile website. The perception of control is what sells them on mobile versions of their website before they fully understand that responsive web design can be just as customized.
Phil Laboon, Clear Sky SEO

5. Everything Will Work Great Once It’s Responsive

A very common misconception in creating a responsive site is that everything will work and look great on mobile once it’s responsive — this is not the case. Your work is not over yet. Test everything on the different mobile platforms, and identify opportunities to create a better mobile user experience because simply fitting it onto the screen is not enough.
Fabian Kaempfer, Chocomize

6. You Don’t Need a Responsive Website Yet

I talk to so many business owners who think their website is “good enough.” But they don’t realize that they’re missing out on so much potential business because consumers are becoming increasingly mobile. Unfortunately, a common misperception is that they don’t need responsive websites yet.
Russ Oja, Seattle Windows and Construction, LLC

7. A Responsive Site Doesn’t Matter to Users

We have all seen the stats saying mobile and tablet usage will surpass desktop usage. It’s more important than ever to satisfy every user. Is a responsive layout optimal for all of your users, or should a separate layout be considered for mobile? Many websites sacrifice quality for a one-size-fits-all approach. Never forget to poll your users to see what matters to them.
Brendon Schenecker, Travel Vegas

8. Someone Else Will Know How It’s Done

Most entrepreneurs will outsource this type of task, believing that whomever they hire will surely do the job right. Having a fully responsive website means that industry knowledge has to be a part of the formula. How you collect data and generate leads needs industry knowledge — not just tech knowledge.
Maren Hogan, Red Branch Media

9. You Can Cram In Content

One of the common misperceptions of responsive website design creation is that now that the site is flexible for different screen sizes, a lot more content can be crammed onto the screen. This is a myth because even with responsive design, it’s important to control information density on the page. Responsive design should still focus on streamlining the content for all devices.
Doreen Bloch, Poshly Inc.

10. You Just Need to Make It Look Good

I’ve seen websites that aren’t designed for their target audience. You have to understand who is going to be using your website. Men? Women? Business professionals? Moms? Everything from layout to colors schemes to fonts should be chosen to maximize appeal to your specific audience. If you need inspiration, look at websites that your target audience already uses.
Ha Phan, Porch

11. The Same Rules Apply to Different Devices

When designing mobile buttons, a lot of people seem to think that icons and links should be smaller than they are on larger devices. The opposite is true. When dealing with smaller screens, you actually need to make everything bigger than you would for a traditional laptop or desktop monitor, so it’s easier to see and click.
Danny Boice, Speek

12. Responsive Sites Just Cost More Money

Making your site responsive isn’t just about “pay and play.” Instead, there are a lot of thoughtful choices that need to be made, such as how to simplify, what to remove and why one thing is more important than another thing on your site.
Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

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The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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