With the rising number of internet users accessing websites from mobile devices, the need to present a website suitable for mobile has never been greater.
What is Responsive Design?
Responsive web design allows a website’s layout to be changed as the screen size being used to access that website alters. A conventional desktop computer’s screen size can format a web page displaying multiple columns of content while a smaller screen such as a tablet or smart phone presents the content in a single column layout with links and images that are appropriately sized for optimal viewing on a smaller display.
Why is it important?
We now live in a world where online users access websites using a variety of devices and screen sizes. A potential customer might access your website on their lunch break at work using a desktop computer or a laptop, they may see something that peaks their interest and then visit your website again later in the day using their smart phone or tablet. Without a responsive and adaptable design, they might not be able to view the original product or piece of content they were interested in properly. What happens? They end up looking elsewhere or get frustrated at not being provided with the right content.
Gone are the days when businesses would have a desktop and mobile version of their website to keep up to date with device trends, more and more businesses are now investing in having one website that serves every type of user.
Industry statistics show that over 52% of internet users are now accessing websites from mobile devices and furthermore, 4 out of every 5 consumers use their smart phones to purchase products.
This number is only set to increase dramatically as companies such as Apple consistently release newer, bigger and better handsets and devices to the market.
Having not only a responsive design, but a mobile optimised website has never been more important for businesses. Serving your existing and potential customers with engaging content and an easy to navigate customer journey is vital in bringing consistent revenue for your business.
Add to that the fact that Google have taken responsive design into consideration when users search for products or information by adding a “mobile friendly” tag to each result appearing on a mobile device.
One of the most appealing things about a responsive website is that it safeguards your website for newer devices and screens in the future. Responsive designs are fluid, they scale up or down in order to find the best fit for the screen being used to access the site. This means that as new devices are released, a responsive website will be well prepared to meet the needs of those new screen sizes and in turn, give each user an enjoyable experience.
Below are some tips to bear in mind before taking the Responsive Design Leap!
- Think of mobile users. We’ve talked about the amount of people using mobile devices to shop online. When adding content to a website, bear in mind that having paragraphs and paragraphs of text might be informative for any customer but will only lengthen your page content and force that user to scroll through in order to find the content they are really interested in. Focus on the more relevant content first!
- Put yourself in a customer’s shoes. By envisaging the journey your customer might go on when navigating through your website, you can get an idea of the type of content you’d like to see, where content needs to be positioned and any pieces of content that can be streamlined or stripped out in order to make the journey smoother.
- Install Google Analytics. Google Analytics will provide you with valuable insight into not only what percentage of customers are accessing your website via a mobile device, but also the pages, products and content they interact with the best and least. This can help you refine your content in order to provide them with that easy journey we’ve already talked so much about!
If you want some advice or want to talk to us about responsive design for your website, please feel free to contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org