How Responsive Web Design Could Help your Business

Responsive_Web_DesignThe amount of websites that utilise responsive web design is growing with the increasing amount of devices people can access the web from. We want to tell you all about responsive web design so that your website doesn’t get left behind in the dust of this rapidly adopted web designtrend. With people using laptops, tablets, smartphones and varying sized desktop screens, it is important to ensure that your website responds to the technology it is accessed from. A non-responsive website sticks out like a sore thumb in the quickly evolving web-world.

Responsive web design is simply the ability of a website to change its format to correspond to the device it is accessed from. On a more complicated level the tool can enable web designers to provide different content for different users; for example, by accessing the user location a website can tailor information to them on a geographical basis.

The growth in smart phones means that more often people are using websites on smaller screens and if the website is non-responsive it makes navigation around said website extremely difficult. For example; a traditional fixed width screen can cause a user to have to scroll horizontally to view content that was intended to be seen at first sight. If you can believe it, the current attention span for humans using the web is now less than a goldfish; meaning webpages must be both engaging and easy to use to be effective . A non-responsive, ill-fitting format will cause frustration and repel many users, meaning that the crucial messages websites need to transmit to users are not received.

If you don’t believe us, check out your websites stats on Google analytics; you can find out how many users are accessing your website via their cell phones by selecting the ‘Audience’ option, then ‘Mobile’. The time is now to change your website design as the amount of people accessing the web from different devices is only going to increase in this technology driven world.

The good news is, transforming your website into a responsive design is not as complicated as it sounds! There are two options for implementing responsive web design; creating an adaptive website with multiple fixed width layouts set for common devices, or, using multiple fluid grid layouts to achieve a truly responsive user experience. Most web designers will use fixed width layouts if they want more control over how the website will look on different screen sizes, however, this approach does not respond to change in browser size - a common practice of web-users who want to view multiple browser windows at the same time. Fluid grid layouts work on the basis of proportions rather than pixels and the content changes according to browser size. Web content is given a percentage of the browser or screen to take up; as the size of the viewing window changes the content continues to take up it’s assigned percentage of the browser responding to it’s viewing environment. You can even utilise both concepts with a mixed approach to responsive design; having some fixed width layouts for certain devices and some fluid grid layouts for others.

In implementing responsive design there are a few things to think about. The first is that graphics can cause a website to be slower to load on certain devices, so when designing a web-platform to be accessed from cell-phones or tablets with lower capability, it might be wiser to remove or downsize on images, graphics and advertisements. The popularity of touch screens means that there are now two navigation routes to consider; touch and mouse. What may work well for the click of a mouse could be a nightmare for somebody with not-so dainty digits.

It’s that simple, and with the populations’ increasing reliance on technology and high-speed culture, being able to access the information you need, on the go, is a luxury many aren’t willing to live without. The integration of laptops, tablets and smartphones into everyday life has made Responsive Design a necessity for websites that want universal exposure.

Now you may be thinking all this talk of cell-phone and tablet usage means that you should be thinking about creating an application, and this is indeed something to consider. Our take on this decision is that a responsive website may be the better option in terms of universal compatibility. This is because the application world is fickle; often certain brands will only work with apps from certain platforms. With the iOS and android faceoff going down, to allow both apple and android users access to your app, double the work may be required. Having a responsive website guarantees that all devices that have access to the Internet will be able to use your site. Wonderful! No more taking sides.

While vamping up your website it might be a good idea to consider including some other current web design trends. Long scrolling is the new thing in website navigation; the effort exerted through clicking can sometimes be too much! Websites that take the user on an intuitive narrative journey through scrolling; up, down and side-to-side are sought after and savvy. Where the bold and bright colours may have been hip and eye catching yesterday tomorrows request is light and subtle hues. With so much time spent staring at a screen nowadays it can be nice to find yourself looking at a website that is not an assault on the senses. Lastly to get personality into a website and make meaningful connections add simple animations - you might even make somebody laugh!

Responsive web design is a win-win tool as it means ease of use for users and better communication from website beneficiaries.

Related Reads:

Posted in Responsive Design

responsive web design welcome future business

The late/great Albert Einstein once said “I never think about the future, it comes soon enough.” True enough for some, Al, but when it comes to web design and business, we think it’s smart and necessary to think about the future in order to succeed. As we all know, change happens fast, and in the worlds of web design, business and technology, it happens even faster. To be good web designers and business operators, we need to stay on trend and stay current. To be excellent at what we do, it’s necessary to identify trends before they hit.  MobileSitesx6+600dpi

With the advance in mobile technology in the last few years, it’s no surprise that more and more people are using their mobile devices to access the Internet. How is it then that the vast majority of businesses are still not mobile user-friendly? Can I be frank? If you’re a business owner and you don’t have an online presence that is accessible via mobile you’re missing out on major business opportunities. There’s nothing complex about having a mobile presence. The answer is so simple:Responsive Web Design. So, what is it exactly?

Responsive web design is a web design style that crafts websites with the aim of providing an optimal viewing experience. These websites are easy to read and even easier to navigate across a wide range of devices by being coded in a way that uses a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling, thus making it a very user-friendly style. Happy users are happy customers and happy customers spend more money. This is what we call conversion. So, how do you get the most out of your responsive design?

Ring! Ring!

When it comes to creating a mobile website, you have two options: Responsive Design and Mobile Templates. Responsive design is easier in that it requires only one website that is coded in order to adapt to all screen sizes and therefore accessible through multiple devices. Mobile templates aren’t as friendly. They require an entirely separate mobile-only website. You can see why this is a problem! It’s more work, more money and more hassle.

Consider this:

  • More people are using their mobiles for Google searches
  • 25% of Internet users access it on a mobile device
  • 25% of all emails are opened on mobile phones
  • 61% of people have a better opinion of brands when they offer a good mobile experience

Keeping customers happy is paramount to a successful business so providing a positive user experience should be a top priority. If someone lands on your mobile website and doesn’t find what they’re looking for easily they’re likely to leave your site for your competitor. A positive experience on mobile devices can translate into more profits as the customer is 67% more likely to purchase your services or products if it’s fast and easy to do so.

Keeping Google Happy

It’s a well-known fact that Google prefers responsive web design over mobile templates. Just like your customers, Google wants to be able to navigate your site and organise the content with ease. With responsive design your site has one URL and the same HTML across any device making it easier for users to share and engage with the content compared to sites with different pages for mobile and desktop users. Google knows that unhappy customers will go to other sites which then results in an increase in bounce rates and lower ranking on mobile searches. Beware: Google’s external link algorithm then gets cranky and this can have serious consequences for your SEO.

Back to the Future

One of the best characteristics of responsive design is that the size of the template is designed based on screen size and not specific devices. Technology is in a state of flux at all times. New devices are dreamed up and created faster than you can say “Eight Track Player”. Your responsive website won’t be made obsolete with the advent of new technology. It will stay current and beautiful which saves you money because you won’t need to tweak it. Speaking of money…

Responsive Design: How Much Does It Cost?

Depending on your current website, changing it to a responsive design may cost a few hundred dollars or a few thousand. That’s assuming the existing design lends itself to becoming responsive. If you haven’t redesigned your website in the last several years it’s quite probable that you’ll need to go through a complete redesign process. As designers we know that the cost depends on how much work you want to get done.  If you’re interested in converting your existing site to responsive design, we can help. Just get in touch with one of our designers and they can talk you through the process. If you’re looking to stay competitive in the marketplace, you’re going to have to make the leap to responsive design.

Call me: The Future Is Mobile

Going ‘responsive’ can present challenges for website owners but without a mobile-friendly website the future of your online presence is bleak. If you’re not providing a mobile-friendly experience for your customers, they’ll bounce off your website and go to your competitor whose website is easier to use. Haven’t you ever done that before yourself? I know I have. The future, as we all know, is mobile. People prefer their mobile devices over desktop and laptop computers. Consider this fun fact: by 2017 5 billion people will use mobile phones. Can you afford to stay in the Dark Ages of web design? Nope.

There are, however, some exceptions to the rule:

  1. Your business doesn’t depend on your website to operate. (Lucky you!)
  2. Your business has absolutely no competitors in the marketplace. (Um, really?!)
  3. You’re totally familiar with responsive design, you know that it’s not the right fit for your business and you have an alternative mobile strategy. (Fair enough.)

If any of these 3 points resonate with you, then you have nothing to worry about. If not, get in touch. We’re here and we’re ready to update your website to be responsive. Welcome to the future.

Related Reads:

Posted in Responsive Design