The Importance of Responsive Design

When a topic has an entire Forbes article dedicated to it, you know it’s something worth paying attention to. And that’s exactly the case with responsive design. Although this term has been around since 2010, it really wasn’t until last year that it started being talked about all that much. Thanks to the initial buzz, this concept has exploded into one of the most important in the whole design world.So, why exactly does responsive design matter so much? The easiest way to summarize its importance is by using a quote from a study Google did about people’s use of multiple screens. According to their report,  “90% of people move between devices to accomplish a goal, whether that’s on smartphones, PCs, tablets or TV.” Examples of the ways people use multiple devices is by searching again on a second one or emailing themselves a link so they can check it out on their other device.

Because people move so fluidly between their devices, it’s only logical that businesses would want to deliver a consistent experience to the people who come to their site. Regardless of whether they’re on an iPad, Android phone or laptop, when a visitor comes to your business website, you want them to be able to find the information they want, as well as submit their contact information or even make a purchase.

What About a Mobile Site?

Prior to the debut of the iPhone and the subsequent explosion of smartphones with truly rich browsers, mobile sites made a lot of sense. Since most phones simply couldn’t handle loading full websites, a mobile version meant that visitors could still get some basic information from their limited phone browser. Now, fast forward to the present, and the majority of phones have powerful browsers, as well as 4G or WiFi capabilities. That combination means phones can load full websites very quickly.

The problem with continuing to use mobile sites is instead of helping visitors, it generally provides an inferior experience. For example, someone may use Google to locate a specific page of a site, only to be automatically redirected because that page isn’t included in the mobile version. Another common and very frustrating issue is when the search feature of a mobile site doesn’t work properly.

How to Get Started with Responsive Web Design

Because responsive designs adjust automatically based on the size of the screen where they’re being displayed, the first step in the process is deciding what sections of content should be initially highlighted. From there, the actual design can be created. And once it’s live, it will be just as useful to people who visit it from a cellphone as it will be to visitors who are on a laptop or iPad.

Now that you know more about responsive design and why it’s so important, get help started creating your own responsive web design today!

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  • By Dennis Consorte
  • Published on September 5th, 2013