What is Responsive Design Though?
Responsive Design has been a hot subject this year. We've even mentioned it a few times before ourselves in the blogs "The Mobile Web & Responsive Design" and "Perfecting Mobile SEO." However, we haven't exactly taken the time to fully explain what it is and what it does. This article should leave you knowledgeable on the subject.
Responsive Design's main goal is to optimize a user's experience for different use cases and environments all through one website. We no longer live in a world where the Internet is accessed solely through a desktop computer. In fact, those days have long gone. Cell phones, tablets, laptops, video game consoles, and so many other devices are used to enter the web now. It only makes sense that the architecture from which the websites found throughout the web are made up from has more flexibility. It would be completely overwhelming and inconvenient to create a different website for each source that exists today. By embedding standards-based technologies into web designs, they become more flexible as well as more adaptive to the various media that interprets them. In short, responsive design allows a website to be designed so that it will ideally fit onto any platform, regardless of size and shape.
For an example of responsive design at work, click here. This link will lead you to a snapshot demo, by James Mellers, of how responsive design operates. By resizing the window to different sizes, you will see the device/screen change accordingly. Play around with it.
This type of design is more in-tune with our society today. Instead of adjusting a mobile website by zooming into it or endlessly scrolling through a too large format, responsively designed sites respond to the user. Your device type will be recognized, and the website will adjust accordingly. This is exactly where web design/development technology should be today. As we've discussed before (see those aforementioned blogs), responsive design is beneficial for SEO and the overall success of your site. So, if yours isn't designed to tell the difference between a desktop and a smartphone, you should be worried.
Firstly, a responsive design encourages a better potential customer viewing experience. Visitors of your site will have a more enjoyable experience on their mobile devices or other platforms because your site will be well-tailored and streamlined for that device. This is likely to increase the amount of time spent on your website in general as well as pages per visit. More time on your site raises the possibility of customer conversion. Having such an adaptable site also broadens your audience reach giving you even more conversion opportunities.
And of course, like we've stated, search engine optimization is affected as well. Google, Bing, and other major search engines do not like when websites have separate mobile sites. To them, this counts as duplicate content, and that is frowned upon. A responsive design adapts naturally and is not considered as duplications on different devices.
So now you should not only be clear on what responsive design is but why responsive design is important, if not necessary in today's modern age. With the speed at which technology progresses, we're likely to see many new devices and advancements in Internet capabilities in the next several years. A responsive design can keep your website on top of the curve and available to all of your visitors. Don't limit your site. If you'd like to test out responsive design for your site, try visiting GoMo.
Is your site using a responsive design? If so, how has your site's success been affected?