Common Responsive Web Design Problems and How to Avoid Them

There are many problems you may face when it comes to responsive web design, but don’t worry. Here is how you can avoid them.

responsive design problems

Free Image by Pixabay

Designing a website that looks good and functions properly on all devices, from desktop computers to mobile, tablet PCs and TVs, is not an easy process. It requires thorough user experience research and planning, several iterations in early designs and rigorous testing. However, thanks to frameworks like Bootstrap and Foundation and other development tools, this complicated process has become less of a burden. But still, responsive web designing is prone to complications.

Even a professional web designer sometimes ends up spending hours and hours in fixing their responsive designs. If you’re new to responsive web design, it is highly likely that you will make some common mistakes. Of course you can also learn from your mistakes, but when you know what those mistakes could be, why make them in the first place?

So, here are 7 responsive web design problems that designers admit to—and how to avoid them.

Having To Hide Content

One of the biggest problems web designers face with RWD is that they are forced to hide content from mobile users in order to make it fit on the screen. We’re not going to say that this is a bad idea, because if you want your site to be mobile-friendly there’s a lot you may have to give up. However, you need to make sure that what you pick and throw out is not a major part of your website’s theme or design. Be picky, but not too picky.

Never-Ending Utilization of Javascript

javascript requests

It might look great on your computer, but for a mobile user, 15 to 20 Javascript requests is going to take forever to download. Having so many scripts on your web page is not among the best practices. Therefore, when you’re designing for the mobile, make sure the requests are kept to a minimum. Stick to what is necessary and what contributes to functionality or UX.

Jumpy, Distorted Font

portrait landscape

Remember, your font size will never be fixed on a particular device. For instance, if the user decides to view your web page on landscape mode after having opened it up on portrait mode, your layouts and font size (particularly those of fixed position elements) could be distorted. The easiest way to fix this is insert a piece of CSS code that will prevent font scaling in landscape while allowing zoom. Here’s how.

Making It All About The Layout

call button

Web designers often tend to think that a responsive web design is all about adjusting the layout and making changes in ways to fit a smaller screen. However, this is an incorrect assumption. There’s a lot more to responsive web design than just having a perfect layout.

Think about how your design elements provide value to users. Think about what a mobile user on-the-go would require from your website (e.g. ways to quickly navigate through a website). Think about ways you can leverage the unique functionalities of a mobile device and implement it onto your design. For example, you can integrate an option that allows user to contact you just by tapping on your contact number.

So, it’s not just about making something that fits on a smaller screen. It’s about creating a design that fully utilizes and adjusts to the functionalities of a mobile device!

Confusing Click Coordinates With Touch Coordinates

touch cordinates

Touch coordinates can be devious. They aren’t stored the way click coordinates are and they may differ based on the mobile device being used. Apple devices have touch coordinates similar to clicks. However, Android devices (and others) have different coordinates that can only be located in the specialized event data. But don’t lose hope! There’s a way to find these out and here’s a great description on how this can be done.

Giving Your Site Too Many Resources

Having to load too many resources is going to slow down your responsive web design considerably. Don’t burden your design with over 60 resources to pull out data from before it renders. Not only will your site load at snail speed, but also bore your visitors even before they’ve seen a single element on your website. Also make sure you use tools and resources that minify your code to make it cleaner and efficient.

Ignoring the Context


The one-size –fits all approach may seem easy at first, but it can also present a lot of problems because there is never one type of user or one type of mobile device your website would be viewed on. Nowadays, we have users viewing a website on a mobile, tablets, laptops, televisions and what not.

Responsive web design is not just designing for the mobile (or a small screen). It means taking the context in which a user may open up your website into consideration and keeping the functions, inabilities, and opportunities of each in mind.

In Conclusion

Of course these are only some of the problems web designers run into when designing a responsive website. However the above highlighted mistakes are some of the most common ones. We hope we’ve saved you from what could have been an awfully frustrating situation, but if you feel there’s something else that needs to be on this list, let us know!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>