Web trends are many. Some stick, some buzz by. One of the web trends that “stuck” is responsive web design. It continues to be one of the hottest web trends even today, though it was developed a few years ago. So what exactly is responsive web design? Why should you care? These are some of the questions I’ve attempted in this post.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Ethan Marcotte coined and largely developed the concept of responsive web design. In its simplest form, responsive web design means a web pages adjusts itself according to the screen size of whichever device you’re using to access it, be it desktop computer, tablet, cellphone, or something similar.
Take this very page, for example. Even if you open this page on your smartphone, you will get access to all its components – no more, no less.
Therefore, a responsive web design means your website is mobile-friendly and tablet-friendly.
Why Should You Care?
Websites were, earlier, designed for desktop view only. Then “lighter” versions of websites were created to display on mobile devices. That is adaptive web design.
Adaptive web design is where the website can detect if you are accessing it through a mobile device and then shows you a different HTML specifically designed for mobile devices. So basically, you are designing two versions of your website – one for mobile view and the other for desktop view.
Now that mobile internet usage is almost at par with desktop and laptop internet usages, responsive web design has become a major requirement in web design. It incorporates design features that enables any web page to respond quickly to the type of device used and adjust its display without compromising the content, thus giving the reader a natural reading experience.
Being responsive is an important SEO factor for websites nowadays. This type of design makes the website user-friendly, as well as search-engine friendly.
If your customer is using mobile devices more, as compared to other devices, you need to make your site more mobile-friendly to NOT lose those customers, and enable them for a quick and comfortable sale online.
Is your website responsive?
Open your website on the desktop. And open the same page on your mobile device – your smartphone or your tablet.
Does the view look similar?
Your website is responsive, if your website looks the same on your desktop and your mobile or tablet.
In case you have to scroll up and down, left and right, to view the page properly, your website is definitely NOT responsive.
And if you can’t decide, check the responsiveness (or lack of it) in a tool like this one.
And just as a precaution, take the Google Mobile-Friendly Test as well to be sure your website is optimised for your users.
Responsive web design is definitely not a new concept, but it certainly helps to create a user-friendly website for your users. By providing an optimal user experience, you can improve the perception of your brand and business in the public eye.
Why bother to create multiple versions of the same website when you can use a combination of flexible layouts, media queries and flexible media to enable web pages to continually and fluidly change based on the device used?
Think about it.
Contact us if you need any help.