Today almost everyone uses the Internet, but not everyone accesses the Internet in the same way. In today’s mobile world, Internet visitors are using more than just their desktop or laptop, they are accessing the Internet from their tablet or even their smartphone.
As a website owner, this means that you must be sure your content looks great not only on a desktop browser, but also the smaller screened tablets and smartphones. That is where responsive design comes into play.
What Is Responsive Design?
Responsive design is, quite simply, a design philosophy and technology that enables you to create websites that adapt to device that is being used to view them. When you use responsive design, your website will easily change how it displays its content based on whether you are using a regular computer browser, or looking at the content on a smartphone or tablet.
Why You Should Use It
While you may not think your website really needs responsive design, you should consider the following. In early 2014, the number of mobile users accessing the Internet exceeded the number of desktop users.
Mobile devices aren’t the only devices you have to be concerned with, either. Today there are many other devices that can surf the net including e-readers and even video game consoles. All of these devices provide their own custom viewing resolutions for the web. This means that you can no longer rely on traditional fixed width design principles when creating your websites.
If you don’t use responsive design, often the images you use will be much larger than the smaller screens on most of the leading smartphones. The result is an image that’s both ridiculously large, filling the screen and at the same time causes your website to slow down on these smaller devices.
A Better User Experience
The main goal of responsive design is to provide your visitors with a much better user experience when browsing your site from a mobile device. To do that, there are several factors you must consider:
- Mobile First – You must begin to think about mobile users first. While you may not have many mobile visitors now, the market has already surpassed desktops and continues to grow. Once you make your site responsive, your mobile readership will increase. So consider future content that tailors to the mobile crowd as well as the desktop crowd.
- Existing Content – Existing content often presents the biggest challenge to website owners. Much of this content may not be ready for a more responsive approach to design. You may find that this content will have to be rewritten or, at the very least, reformatted to fit with the new design.
- Track Your Progress – Once you launch your site, your work isn’t complete. You must track your progress with mobile users by making use of various tools such as Google Analytics to see how you are doing. With these tools, you can watch as your mobile traffic grows and use these indicators to provide the right content to your visitors in the future.
Once you launch your new website, watch as your responsive design helps you to increase traffic to your site as you receive more and more visits from users on their smartphones and tablets.
Moving forward, your new responsive website will help you future proof your site so you can more easily adapt to changes while providing every user who visits your site a superb user experience that will keep them coming back time and time again.
Futher Resources from Our Blog:
Responsive Design: Getting it Right – See our infographic on best practices and tips.
Responsive Design Made Simple – Another detailed infographic and blog post about the creation of Web content that works across platforms and formats, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs.