What is Responsive Design?
Up until recently, most websites had been designed for viewing on desktops and laptop computers. However, with the growing popularity of mobile devices, it has become apparent that, oftentimes, these websites do not provide a satisfactory user experience. For instance, text or links can be too small or the user may have to scroll across the screen to see information.
Responsive design involves designing your website in such a way that its appearance changes or “responds” according to the device on which it is being viewed. Configuring the CSS file, i.e. the styling instructions in the code, in a particular way, is generally the way this is accomplished.
Here are several supporting reasons why a website should be responsively designed.
Enhanced user experience
The primary goal of any website design is to provide an optimum browsing experience for a visitor. A responsively designed site goes a long way towards achieving this.
Getting ahead of the competition
Many businesses have failed to embrace the idea of responsive design either through lack of awareness or because of the need for investment. However, there is no doubt that having a responsive site will give a business a competitive edge, as well as providing an element of future proofing. In addition, there are available other less expensive options to choose from other than a full redesign.
Google recommends responsive design
The most recent survey showed that 67% of Internet searches are processed through the Google search engine so it’s a good idea to take their recommendations into consideration!
Mobile usage is continuing to grow and grow
By the end of 2013 mobile devices will surpass desktop as a means of accessing the Internet. With a change in the user landscape of this significance it would be foolish for businesses to ignore this trend.
Helping with Search Engine Optimisation
Some website owners try to solve the problem of multiple devices by providing two separate sites; one suited for desktop and one for mobile. As well as causing problems from an administrative point of view (i.e. maintaining the two sites) this solution can also dilute ranking (SEO) e.g. visitors are spread across two different website addresses (URLs).
The rise in the use of mobile devices is a trend that shows no signs of abating. While websites designed primarily for desktops may have served a business well over many years, it is surely time to review its suitability and effectiveness across all devices. After all, the experience potential customers have on a site will be a major factor in their decision to purchase.