Nowadays smartphones and tablets have changed the method toward user experience and design. Recent market studies show mobile internet usage is set to grow enormously by the end of 2015 with an upsurge of 21% from 2010. What is maybe more interesting is that this means the number of mobile internet users will pass that of desktop users during this time. Certainly this transformation in the way people are intense about online information and viewing websites means we should to be considering how we can engage with visitors to make them the best online experience for our products and services.
We are living in a world where our websites not only being surfed by a variety of different screen sizes and devices, but the same clients are returning to our websites at dissimilar times using these different devices. Online traffic originating from mobile devices is increasing exponentially each time. This means that, to vastly support their experience, our websites must be flexible and work well regardless of which device they may be using at a specific time. Also Google has long recommended using responsive web design to support different devices and screen sizes.
Truly, responsive web design isn’t a luxury any more, it’s a must and the ‘one website fits all devices’ approach will soon be the norm. As more and more people get used to browsing the web through their tablets and smartphones, it is unwise for any website publisher to disregard responsive web design.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design lets a website’s layout to change as the screen size being used to view it (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). For example someone opening your website on a small smartphone will be presented the same website as the person opening it on their notebook. However a responsive web design will have noticed the restraints and automatically reformatted to present the user an experience better matching to their device. There is no need for loading a huge website and zooming in and out to view the contents the visitors are searching for.
The designer creating a Responsive Design should guarantee that the website’s navigation elements, screen-layouts, images, text, audio/video players and other elements regulate themselves on a variety of devices. In this way, one need not spend further time and money in building and up-keeping two websites; a “mobile-site version” and a “desktop-site version”.
Now, let us look at the advantages and why Responsive Design is important
– Responsive web design sites are flexible, meaning the content transfers easily across all screen resolutions and all different devices. A responsive web design ensures that visitors get the best and compatible experience of a website on any device of the user’s selection and priority – such as the iPhone, the iPad, the ipod, the tablet and the smartphones running the Android OS, or the Windows OS and several others. This means that as new technology hit the market with different screen sizes unlike what we have experienced before, our responsive websites will already be ready to meet those new devices.
– The advantages of having a single website that follows to the need of all devices are meaningful when compared to having several separate websites. One website costs less than two, and the savings can be significant. Having one website to manage and one place to manage it from will make it easier to keep the site updated. Also managing one website and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two websites and two SEO campaigns.
– As I mentioned, Google has long recommended using responsive web design to support different devices and screen sizes, but the search engine took this recommendation a step further last year when they began adding a “Mobile Friendly” label to websites that used this approach when those sites appeared in a search results page on a mobile device. Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site. Google is now setting ‘user-experience’ as a ranking factor; this is essential to take into account in regards to SEO.
Being able to show users a beautiful optimized experience without consideration of their choice of device means you’ll have expanded the reach of your service and the chances you have of engaging with individuals. The long lasting nature of this approach is unbelievably valuable and the cost effectiveness is a strong advantage. But that kind of design-thinking does not have to be our default. Now more than ever, digital content is meant to be viewed on a spectrum of different experiences. But responsive web design offers the best way forward.
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