It’s 2014 and you’re in an airport terminal, with half an hour before boarding begins. Or maybe you’re at a doctor’s office, hair salon, train station waiting room, or coffee shop, in line for your morning caffeine fix. What’s everyone doing to occupy their time while they wait? It’s probably impossible for most people to imagine any of these scenarios without picturing the majority of adults—not to mention most teenagers and even some younger kids—intently reading from their small smartphone screens. Mobile web browsing is huge, and it’s not going anywhere (in fact, it’s only growing!)
Now imagine that your own website loads slowly and looks unattractive on an iPhone or tablet. You’re cringing at the idea of losing all that user attention and revenue … aren’t you? That’s why we’re here this week with some helpful articles on responsive web design and why it’s so important. Check out some of the latest wisdom from industry pros, and be sure your site can handle action on the go!
Let it Go: Say Farewell to These 5 Web Design Trends (Ilya Pozin, Forbes)
Yesterday, Ilya Pozin of Forbes shared his thoughts on five web design trends that have gone the way of the dinosaur. He covers issues like favoring responsive design best practices over building a separate site for mobile web users and cites the fact that Google now favors responsively designed websites for SEO purposes. He also sees text-heavy sites losing ground to visually appealing ones with photos, infographics, videos, and other content that engages the eye. He points out that old-school SEO copywriting, driven by the impulse to cram keywords into written material, is less relevant than developing user-driven content that incorporates keywords more organically. The underlying theme we see is that web design should be primarily about ensuring a great user experience (UX)—one that keeps interested readers or customers returning to and recommending your site time and again.
What You Need to Know about Responsive Web Design (Zena Koo, CMS Wire)
Speaking of designing responsively, Zena Koo of CMS Wire has written an article devoted to the subject, and we think it’s worth your time to read it. Like Pozin at Forbes, she focuses primarily on UX: in order to design a beautiful web site that renders flawlessly on smartphones, tablets, and other handheld devices, your best bet is to put yourself in the user’s shoes (or, more accurately, his fingertips.) She encourages you to be patient with the process and perform extensive responsive design testing before rolling out the finished product. Koo recommends that you test your site on a variety of devices and browsers to ensure that it’s loading quickly and correctly, whether the user is a devoted Apple fan and Safari loyalist or an Android owner who prefers Chrome.
So, give it some thought: have you incorporated responsive design best practices and other smart strategies in your website design plan? If not, there’s no time like the present to whip that page of yours into shape, perhaps with the help of a genius consultant. The products and/or services your company provides are all about satisfying any number of customers—now be sure your website does the same!