As our industry evolves (continually in fact) we thought this would be a good time to explain what responsive website design means and why it is important to consider at this point in time. It’s dizzying how fast the internet landscape changes. Responsive design was just an apple in our eyes a few years ago. We’ve been building responsive and mobile friendly websites for a while but now they are taking a real foothold and it’s time to pay attention. Responsive design is clearly for the benefit of your customers.
So what is responsive design?
Responsive Design means that your website adapts to fit on a small screen smoothly and neatly. There will be no need to get out a magnifying glass to see words on your phone, or zoom and move the site around with fingers to use your website. A responsive website looks great on any device and screen size. Simply put, settings are programmed for allowable ‘values’ so that your site is easy to use on most devices. Responsive design future-proofs your website for device developments not yet on the horizon.
It’s not about screen size so much anymore but that devices can view websites and allow users to interact with your website. It’s very much about proper design. The website design landscape is changing.
Why should you consider responsive design?
1. Google says it’s a good idea.
Google data shows responsive websites are now considered industry best practice and Google’s recommended website configuration. Responsive websites have the same URL and HTML as the desktop version. This means Google does not have to index multiple versions of the same website, but just one responsive site.
2. One experience seen on multiple devices.
It means that the mobile and the desktop website look similar. The mobile version is essentially a scaled down and reorganized site based on the order elements appear.
From surfing to online shopping and everything in between, when a website can provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes, the experience is positive and friendly. The last thing you want is for customers to go to your competitor’s website because it’s easier to use.
3. Who wants to be tied down anyway?
The trend looks like mobile is winning. The sales of mobile devices has already surpassed desktop sales. That fact alone is reason to sit up and take notice. The bottom line is depending on what your website is built to accomplish, considering responsive design is an important decision we can help you with.
4. Another expense, is it worth it?
It probably is. Yes, it will cost more to make your website responsive but it’s money well spent. Making a website responsive from the beginning is much more cost effective than trying to tinker with it later. It is a small price to pay for a leading edge website.
Reasons you might not want responsive design.
1. If your website REALLY DOES NOT NEED to be accessed from a mobile device easily you probably don’t need a responsively designed website.
All websites are visible on a smaller screen. If you don’t mind that the text is tiny or that your customers may become frustrated trying to manipulate the site with their fingers to enlarge it then a regular website on a small screen may be adequate for you.
But remember it’s not all about how it looks – responsive design is about how it works on different devices. You should consider making your website responsive. Look at it as an investment in your website’s future.
~ “Today, anything that’s fixed and unresponsive isn’t web design, it’s something else. If you don’t embrace the inherent fluidity of the web, you’re not a web designer, you’re something else.
~ Andy Clarke