Responsive design is the strategy of designing and developing a website that responds to the end user’s behavior and platform based on the size of the screen and orientation.
The design consists of multiple grids, layouts, images and advanced Cascade Style Sheets CSS. As the end user swaps between devices (desktop to iPhone), the website is designed to automatically switch layouts to accommodate the devices resolution and images sizing. The website will have the ability to automatically respond to any user on virtually any smart device. This methodology eliminates the requirement for multiple designs for each and every device.
Have you ever looked at a website from your desktop, you iPad and iPhone to see what the difference is as the screen resolution changes? Of course, you have, we all have. It’s not just a matter squeezing the website based on the screen resolution but more importantly, it’s about ensuring the user experience remains top priority between the devices. Each device has it’s purpose and surfing through websites should be a seamless process.
Websites have come a very long way, there are now more complex than ever. Back in the day a lot of the functionality for dynamic websites was coming from the server, however, today speed is so important, especially on mobile devices. The built-in functionality that responsive websites have these days is truly amazing. One website can now be built to literally adjust itself to any device and/or platform it is served up by. The website automatically picks up its environment and self-adjusts the resolution instantaneously.
Try for yourself, go to a website that you might visit from time to time on a desktop computer. Simply grab the bottom right edge of the browser and shrink it to see how the website responds. This process will really show you how the website adjusts on command.
It’s kind of a no-brainer that with Responsive Design you are able to shrink your costs in the development as you are building one website as opposed to multiple version depending on the device that it is being rendered in. Almost every single CMS on the market is building out responsive websites as it is the new norm with the proliferation of mobile usage. Developers no longer have to figure out how to properly build out mobile versions of the websites but rather just follow the best practices and enable features and functionality built into the platforms that they are using.
Back in the day when you have a mobile version and a desktop version you were updating content, functionality, etc. on multiple pages potentially. With the responsive websites, there is no need to do that anymore as the same page holds the same content, however, is delivered in different variations again based on the device and platform. This cut costs immensely as there is always just one location to update.
Google officially recommended that Responsive Web Design is a ranking factor for its algorithm. If for some reason you have already invested in a mobile design and a desktop design for your website, it’s time to consider redesigning and developing a proper responsive website. Your search results on Google may be in jeopardy without doing that.
The great thing about websites and online marketing is that everything is measurable. If you want to know when and where potential new shoppers are coming from it’s as easy as turning Google Analytics on and sifting through the dashboards and reports that it offers. The point is that everything is measurable and has a responsive design makes it that much easier it will always be just one page that is pulling the numbers on instead of having a mobile page and a desktop page. On Google Analytics, it supplies the device and platform where the new visitors came from so you can dissect that and see if you are getting more traffic through mobile vs. desktop. All around it is a good thing to enable responsive design as it works seamlessly with Google Analytics.
One of the biggest benefits of responsive design is that the end user experience has improved as there is no need for a redirect since there is a standardized approach across all devices along with a unified design principle which creates a consistent look and feel. Consistency among user experiences elicits a positive impact on conversion rates as end users are familiar with navigation and site structure across multiple devices.
With the proliferation of web applications on tablets, laptops and mobile devices and the usage of the internet all over the world, this type of development has been in effect for a very long time. It was inevitable that this type of design was eventually going to pop up. In the past users would be re-directed to separate websites based on where they were viewing the website from however because of responsive design that was no longer a requirement. Also because of the, even more, users were able to be reached by companies like yours. Users would gladly go through your website that is properly designed and easy to use over a potential competitor that had a site that was the opposite.