You may have heard a new term being used when looking into having a new website built or revamping an old one, it’s called responsive web design (RWD). It is a fairly new concept in the world of web design and development but one that is quickly becoming an industry standard among the top level design and development firms.
With the rise of tablets and smart phones, traditionally companies have either ignored them as browsing devices or developed completely independent mobile websites. The principle concept behind RWD is to eliminate the need for multiple sites to handle multiple devices; instead, having one website that adjusts page elements accordingly to the size of the screen of the device being used to ensure optimal usability for visitors.
Choosing to ignore mobile devices now would be a huge mistake, approximately 35% of all searches online occur from a mobile device. That number is expected to rise to 50% by November 2013. That is a large market of people your business is missing out on or frustrating with a website with a poor mobile presence.
Think of responsive design in terms of your living space. If you are in a large home there is lots of room for big furniture, paintings and accessories that help create a beautiful space and effectively utilize the available space. That beautiful large space is your website being viewed on a desktop browser. Now you’ve decided to downsize into a cozy house or apartment. If you brought all the furniture, paintings and accessories with you, the space would quickly become overcrowded and cluttered. Things would be very difficult to find as the space is being poorly used. That is your current website on a tablet and a browser.
If you were to implement a responsive design into your website, it wouldn’t matter if you lived in the large home, the cozy home or the small apartment the space would still look beautiful and things would be quick and easy to find. By removing or resizing elements depending on the space, it is possible to keep a consistent theme throughout all viewing platforms but ensure that the most important information is easily accessible at all times.
If your potential customers are able to find what they are looking for fast on your website, no matter if they find you on a desktop computer, a tablet or a smart phone the potential of them contacting you increases greatly.
The global trend is moving towards mobile devices with some experts estimating that mobile device web browsing will overtake desktop web browsing in the coming years. Making your website responsive now could set you up to reap the benefits right away and build a stronger online presence before your competitors follow suit.