What is Responsive Web Design
In today’s competitive online space, websites need to look great on whatever device they are being viewed, and there are now more devices and screen sizes than ever before. In my previous columns I’ve mentioned responsive web design and the importance of usability. Here’s a basic explanation of responsive web design, the new normal.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach to the way websites display on different devices. The idea is that the website “responds” to the size and resolution of the screen of the device accessing it and displays in a way that is appropriate. In other words, when accessing a site from a mobile device the visitor is presented with a view of the site that is tailored to that device. A mobile version of the display may include larger font sizes and limited content, as well as images that are optimized for the display.
Responsive Web Design has emerged as a result of the mobile phone and tablet revolution. Access to the internet through mobile devices has rapidly increased in recent years, and most internet activity is now carried out through mobile devices rather than desktops or notebooks.
Responsive Web Design is about usability
From a usability point of view, responsive web design allows businesses to capitalize on the customer experience. Ensuring that visitors to your site can have an experience that is appropriate to the device they are using, means an all-round better experience for the user. Images, content and layout can be tailored to ensure that users get a relevant and appropriate experience, which is critical in today’s competitive online environment.
Responsive Web Design is “Mobile Friendly”
Google recently made changes to their search engine algorithm to include whether or not a website is “mobile friendly”. This means that the ranking of sites is affected if a user is carrying out a Google search on their mobile device. In short, if your site is not mobile friendly, you may be disadvantaged.
If your website is not responsive or mobile friendly, talk to the team at Benefitz about your options. It might be time to consider that dreaded website refresh that you’ve been putting off. Your Benefitz web developer will help you figure out what responsive aspects can be incorporated into your website. A responsive website requires a little more work to develop in that you need to pay close attention to what (if any) differences there should be between the mobile and desktop version of your site. There’s a consideration of both the copy and the images you decide to include, as well as how and where this will appear. It pays to know your customers and getting some feedback. This could help to ensure you get things right the first time. Customers accessing the mobile version of your site might typically only be looking for specific information. You may want to further tailor the content of the mobile interface, allowing customers to easily find this.
The new normal
Responsive techniques are now fairly ubiquitous in the web development arena. From a customer experience point of view it’s essential that your website keeps up with your competitors, and the advantages of having a mobile friendly website makes the investment no brainer.
Written by Dustin Bisschoff, a Shore based graphic designer and web developer, Benefitz old-boy, customer consultant, and post-grad business student.