Responsive web design adapts and responds to the needs of individual visitors and the digital device they are using.
Web devices include phones, tablets, desktop computers, laptops, smart TVs, games consoles and wearable tech – screen sizes that are constantly changing. Our responsive web development approach is one of the non-negotiable standards Optima works to. We enjoy the flexibility it provides us as designers to explore device-specific, user experiences whilst maintaining a consistent vision and foundation. We build responsive ExpressionEngine, WordPress, and Shopify websites using fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries. These practices ensure our web pages reconfigure on demand, adapting beautifully to different screen sizes and technology. We consider how load times will differ across devices and optimise the experience and accessibility for all website visitors.
Globally, over 59% of all website traffic is from a mobile device (not including tablet) and this percentage continues to grow. So it’s increasingly important to take a mobile-first approach on website projects, especially for B2C markets. But this is not the full picture – we draw data from analytics that tell us the proportion of current website visitors using different digital devices and help assess which platform to focus the most design consideration to. For B2B it may be that desktop and laptop devices still represent the majority of visits. However, we believe in delivering truly responsive website design to ensure the longevity of the websites we build.
Having a responsive, fast-loading website is also important for SEO, especially on mobile, with performance and user experience being key ranking factors in Google’s mobile-first indexing, for example. Optima spend a lot of time with Google’s Pagespeed Insights performance testing tool checking our client’s page speed scores and identifying where improvements can be made during both the initial build of your new website and ongoing as the metrics change within Pagespeed Insights.
Optima work closely with clients to develop a shared understanding of their business objectives and user needs. We listen, absorb and reflect on what you tell us. We ask lots of questions and challenge preconceptions, and we will always bring new possibilities and ideas to the table based on our experience and skills.
2. Scoping and specification
Optima undertake research that, depending on your needs, may include UX workshops with different stakeholders and users, a review of analytics and competitor analysis. During this phase, all the resources and requirements needed to build the website are detailed and aligned with user and business strategies and objectives.
3. Site structure
Optima then design a website structure defining how users will interact with the website and how the system will respond to these interactions. We create a detailed sitemap determining how the website is organised, and information is prioritised. An SEO audit, strategy, and consideration of the customer journey through different digital touch points underpin this process.
Optima creates ‘skeleton’ page plans for each website that show the arrangement of elements and content on different devices. These plans are essential to understanding site navigation, the responsive grid and the priorities of different content. We refer to these skeleton plans as ‘wireframes’ as they demonstrate the website architecture underlying the visual design.
5. Website design concepts
Building on the previous steps, Optima design stunning websites which develop a distinctive online brand presence for your brand. We ensure the design treatment fits your website and business objectives and reflect your brand vision and values. We consider specific design elements and how they contribute to user experience and create memorable associations with your brand.
6. Website development and build
Optima build robust websites on a variety of content management systems. We build page templates and stylesheets to current web standards and mobile responsive technologies and deliver pixel-perfect web pages. We have built hundreds of responsive websites using HTML5/CSS3 and are experienced in delivering websites to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.1.
Optima complete a high level of testing before websites are deployed. Our code is rigorously tested across the main browsers and devices, and any bugs are addressed. We also test website functionality, such as forms and data capture and do a final proofread, ensuring no placeholder content is visible before it is presented to the world.
8. Website launch
Optima coordinates website launches in collaboration with client teams to ensure a smooth and timely transition. Pre-launch, we confirm we have the necessary details to deploy the website to a client’s server or in the server space we provide from our trusted UK providers. We are proud of the websites we launch, and each go-live is celebrated by ringing a bell in the office!
9. Website maintenance
Optima continue to monitor and tweak the performance of newly launched websites to ensure they are working effectively. Beyond this, we offer a range of maintenance packages which enable us to continue to update the site and monitor site health as it develops and grows alongside digital technologies.
10. Website promotion
Optima can assist with promoting your website to ensure it is discoverable and remains visible to your audiences. We offer various digital marketing services to support this, including SEO, pay-per-click, digital advertising, content marketing and email marketing.