Responsive Website Design

2015 is the year of Responsive Website Design

This year the popularity of accessing the internet via tablet or mobile devices has hit an all time high. The sheer volume of users mean that a significant portion of visitors to your site are now likely to be viewing using these devices.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal experience across a wide range of devices, including desktop, tablet and mobile (smartphones). An optimal experience means that your site will be easy to read and navigate – with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling required. A site designed with RWD adapts the layout, styling and function of the site to be appropriate for the device. This is done primarily by using a "responsive framework" such as ZURB Foundation – resulting in fluid, proportion-based grids. Sites are also authored using flexible content items e.g.: images, video.

Why responsive design is now considered critically important for your website

  • Latest important updates to Google Search Algorithm make mobile friendly websites effectively mandatory if you want your site to rank well in search results.
  • 60% of Internet access is made on a mobile device.
    Source: InMobi
  • The majority of mobile consumers use search in their research / comparison process. 48% start on search engines.
    Source: Neilsen
  • 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour. That's assuming that the website is mobile-friendly, otherwise 40% will choose another search result.
    Source: iAcquire

Why previous strategies are now considered outdated

In the past, site owners often resorted to developing an additional "mobile website". This was a separate version of the primary website, designed specifically for mobile.

Such websites typically had the following characteristics:

  • They often didn't do a great job of permitting the use of native mobile functions – for example "swipe" gestures.
  • The two websites were separately developed and maintained, meaning double the workload and expense when any site content needed to be modified.
  • They were often a very limited version of the primary website content and functionality – resulting in a poor user experience.

The advantages of a website that utilises responsive design techniques

  • It adapts to provide an optimal user experience on every device / screen size.
  • It will help improve your results in search engines like Google.
  • It’s affordable – less expense to develop and maintain than outdated solutions.
  • It’s easy to maintain –  content edits performed only once.

Responsive web design examples

Online Medical websites are all designed and developed to be responsive. Here’s a few of our latest websites that you can successfully view across a range of devices.

How does your website compare?

If you can say any of the below statements when viewing your website on a phone or tablet, then you undoubtedly need to consider a responsive redesign in 2015:

  • When I view my site on a phone, I need to "pinch and zoom" to read content.
  • My navigation is impossible to read, much less find.
  • My site takes too long to load.
  • My images are tiny and I need to zoom in to see detail.
  • I have a poor "natural search" ranking in search engines such as Google.

The conclusion

If your company’s website isn’t ready to be viewed on every device possible today and well into the future, you might as well not have a website at all.

You should already be in planning to build (or rebuild) your website to utilise responsive design techniques. If not, you now have the ammunition you need to go to the decision makers and plead your case why your website needs to be responsive if you want to reach your marketing goals in 2015.

Contact us to discuss your project, or request a proposal.