Why Responsive Design Is a Must for Your Website
As web traffic becomes increasingly more mobile, every business needs to get on board with responsive design. But what is responsive design, and how can it help boost site accessibility, overall ease of use, and consumer appeal?
Responsive web design is attentive to the specifications of a variety of devices, adapting fluidly and instantaneously to user browsing platforms. It may sound deceptively simple, but this critical aspect of website development will determine the winners and losers in the digital marketplace.
When Form Is Function: How Responsive Design Works
We’ve all tried to access websites on our phones that just aren’t meant to be used that way. The buttons are too small, there is too much text and other clutter, the design is clunky, and the site is simply impossible to navigate. These are websites where form gets in the way of function. Compare that experience to visiting a stripped down but easy to use site of a competitor. Which site are users more likely to spend time on?
With responsive design, user choice is never a question due to the confluence of form and function. By matching design aspects such as toolbars, graphics, font sizes, and navigation controls to the detected browsing platform, responsive design meets users where they are – in the most literal sense.
Responsiveness Ready: Google Weighs In
A responsive website isn’t just important to users. It’s important to Google as well. The leading search engine’s website ranking system takes note of websites that fail the responsiveness test, meaning fewer search click-throughs. For companies that gain a lot of web traffic via search engine, rather than through direct navigation, responsiveness is a mandatory feature to avoid falling behind competitors. It won’t be enough just to make sure the videos work and the links are aligned. As web design becomes more sophisticated between and among platforms, designers must keep up with Google’s expectations.
Build It and They Will Come
When it comes to making a website responsive, perhaps the biggest challenge is finding web designers who know the ins and outs of a wide variety of platforms. Because many web developers and designers were trained only for the desktop, the transition to mobile systems can be jarring. Research web designers carefully and peruse their work on both desktop and mobile devices before selecting one. The best designers know how to create a sense of continuity between desktop sites and mobile versions while simultaneously providing an app-style experience on the smaller devices.