Pixel Perfection Vs Responsive Design

Posted on 10th October 2016

Responsive web design

Having your website design created by Toolkit Websites means that you've decided to have your website built on a responsive platform. This means that your website will resize to the device the user is viewing it on and you’ll have a site that provides the right experience on the right device.

This is a strategy that future-proofs your website, ensures that you pass Google's mobile-friendly criteria and gives your future and present customers a website that is easy to use at home, on the go or wherever they want to view it. There are a lot of positives all that can be found in this article.

What's the difference between pixel perfect design and responsive web design?

What is Pixel Perfection? It is usually meant to imply the format of a website being precisely controlled. This includes line spacing, alignment perfection, perfect typography set, sizing and so on. Pixel Perfect design is where you have perfect alignment and your website looks exactly the same on all devices, without a single change. Usually, pixel perfection is used within print media. For example when creating a brochure or a poster.

Until recently, many websites were designed using similar skills to those used in print design. In the early days of web design, visitors to websites were visiting on computers with screens sizes that had the same or very similar dimensions. Web designers only needed to design the website with one set of dimensions in mind, and therefore pixel perfection was achievable. In fact, it was the norm.

With more browsers and devices on the market than ever before, people are browsing online in hundreds of different ways.  Mobile devices allow content to be consumed while on the go but in doing so, has introduced a number of challenges with regards to designing for smaller screen sizes and optimising for poor bandwidth.

The technology that has become an industry standard in order to combat the issue of multiple devices and screen resolutions is called: “Responsive Design”. The concept is simple. Responsive design will automatically reshape, reorganise and rescale content to match the needs of the device being used.

Is it possible to design a responsive website and keep it pixel perfect?

The only way to create a pixel perfect design is if you are targeting one screen size and one device only. Even if you do this, you have to remember that browsers also read and render websites differently from one another. This of course limits your websites accessibility which is not only bad for business but for SEO also.

This is because browsers are always evolving with new capabilities, devices are improving their screen resolutions coupled with varying internet connections and different devices being released, the number of possible environments end users could use is almost endless.

Some devices have small screens, some have big screens. Some are low resolution, some are high resolution. Most devices can support an array of browsers, meaning that people have access to an array of options and choices that we once did not have to contend with when creating website designs.

A Compromise

Many website owners are used to the idea that a website should look exactly how they want it to look on all devices it's being viewed on. We as Web Designers can be equally precious about design, however with the introduction of responsive design we also know it's more important for a website to function well than have perfect alignment and pixel perfection. We are aware of what the industry standards expect and we are very much involved in making sure your website is built and functions the way it should to benefit the user.

The goal we aim to achieve is to try and meet somewhere in the middle, combining the concepts of a brilliant design with the functional needs of all devices so that whatever happens the user of the website gets a site that displays the content well and is easy to use and navigate.

Letting go of Pixel Perfection

It is much more important to ensure that a design is usable across all devices than to be solely focused on aesthetic accuracy. Aesthetics are important, but design is a much deeper process than simply making a page look nice. Responsive design forces you to think about the fundamentals of the design.

This means that the design process has evolved over time. We no longer view the web as a fixed medium where we're focused on pixel perfect accuracy. Now we must create designs that can respond to any given device and variables as possible. This means letting go of the pixel perfect accuracy we have been accustomed to in the past.

Pros of Responsive

The benefits of responsive far outweigh that of Pixel Perfection.

Responsive design will save you money. No longer do you have to purchase a mobile version of your website that needs to be coded and created separately from the desktop one.

Your customers will enjoy the experience. Customers and clients will be able to view your website on their tablet at home, on the go on their phone or in the office on their desktop.  The difference will be unnoticeable and seamless, because nowadays this is what people expect. To be able to access a website on whatever device they choose, and for it to be easy to use and navigate no matter what.

Your website will also be automatically mobile-friendly and pass Google's mobile friendly check. Having a website that is not mobile friendly, means it is unlikely that your website will be offered up as a search result on a mobile phone for example. You are increasing the accessibility to your website and enhancing your chance of being found in search results no matter what device the user is searching on.

If you have any further questions at all, or would like to talk to a member of the team about your responsive website, feel free to get in touch.

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