Responsive web design involves the use of a fluid layout and media queries to design a layout that will adapt to different sized screens, such as those found on mobile devices. Responsive web design is critical for navigations menus on mobile devices to function across mobile platforms. The presentation or behavior of responsive menus alters according to the device upon which it is displayed as well as the screen size of the device.
The Ways Responsive Menus Adapt to Different Devices and Screen Sizes
Some of the ways responsive menus can change so that they are more user friendly on different devices include the following:
- The menu can fit differently in the browser window or it can be designed in a different style. Additionally, the menu can appears as if it was designed especially for use with a mobile app.
- The menu can link to different content that will be highly relevant to mobile device uses, such as location information or hours of operation.
- The navigation menu can appear at a different location on the screen on mobile devices, such as the bottom of the screen, so that the user can easily move from one area of the app to the next without scrolling to the top of the page.
- The navigation can also have a “tap to hide or see” function, which allows to ease of navigation, while at the same time allowing for more screen space for content.
The Benefits of Responsive Menus for Mobile Apps
Some of the benefits of responsive menus for mobile apps include the following:
- Responsive menus allow for different design and styling options that improves the appearance of mobile apps on a variety of devices.
- Menus that adapt to a variety of mobile devices, such as tablets and touch screen phones, can increase the functionality of the app on a particular device. For example, expanding the clickable area around links makes the menu much more user friendly for those who use touch screen devices.
- Responsive “click to hide” menus are convenient for users of the most popular devices and they allow for more content per page since space does not have to be occupied by a static navigation menus
Ways to Design Responsive Menus for Mobile Apps
Some of the ways to design menus that adapt their appearance and behavior on a variety of devices include:
- Change the visual design of the menu to fit the small screen of a mobile device by centering the text in the middle of the menu, removing floats from lists and links, and display list items inline as opposed to using blocks.
- Make menu areas easier to tap for touch screen and tablet users by expanding the area that is “tappable.”
- Stretch the navigation link the entire width of the screen to accommodate smartphone users.
- Responsive menus for smartphones should appear at the bottom of the screen using an absolute positioning and margin combination.
Responsive web design allows the developer to create customized menus to improve the appearance, functionality, and user experience of mobile websites.