Responsive design has been around since 2012. Last year, it was a hot topic and most entrepreneurs and technology leaders have heard about responsive design. However, there are still many new businesses that are building new products and applications customized to the PC or native application experience. If you are responsible for existing products or are building new ones, it’s time to embrace responsive design.
Wikipedia will tell you that responsive design is “a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors)”. Or put more simply by Matthew Crist “it’s about meeting the user on their terms”. If someone wants to access your site on a tablet, phone, pc or (gasp) dumb-phone, you better have a site experience that will engage them.
Responsive Design Increases Revenue
According to David Moth who published an article last year, studies are emerging that tout the business value that responsive designs can add. While it’s a stretch to point to the responsive design as the only reason for improved engagement and sales conversions, the numbers are staggering. Whether you produce a content site or an e-commerce site, it’s clear that building a site that is flexible enough to deliver great user experience on all sorts of screens can make a difference in your businesses bottom line.
Responsive Design Means Better Sharing
One of the great byproducts of a responsive design is that you will have a single set of urls for all of you link traffic. An alternative to responsive design is to use different templates for your site based on different screen types. If your site is templated and a user decides to share something on your site from his or her phone, the recipient may get a mobile version on the site. What happens if the recipient views the share on a PC or tablet? Yep, they get the mobile site and an “not-so-good” experience.
Because Google Says So
Opinions vary about Google but the fact remains that Google is responsible for 67-ish% of all web searches. And this past summer, Google stated that they recommend responsive design in order to have the best chance of performing well in Google’s search results.
So if responsive design is all the rage, why isn’t everyone doing it? Responsive design can be hard. Some sites may have to make tough decisions about reducing complex functionality they’ve created for the PC. Other sites may not want to assign internal development and design resources to rebuild their “already working good enough sites”. Others may just not know where to start.
Despite these legitimate concerns, responsive design is here to stay. If your site is not responsive, you can start small by working on tablet and pc presentations first. And if you need help getting started, let us know.