Be prepared to be amazed by something magical. No joke. Responsive web design is, in a way, a creative yet magical piece of technology that is sweeping the web design industry. Some of you might already know what is it and what it can do; others might have heard the phrase “responsive web design”, but still aren’t really sure what it is; and then there’s the majority of you that are like “what the ... is responsive web design”, right?
Responsive web design is the process of making your website adapt to the size and orientation of the user’s browser. With the majority of Internet users – that’s 80% of users – now accessing the World Wide Web using their mobiles devices – smartphones, tablets, and even phablets – your website needs to provide a great user experience regardless of how the user is viewing your website. By implementing responsive web design, which involves creating a responsive architecture – it allows our web designers to use fluid layouts and flexible images – your website will look great, and is easy-to-use on any device – mobile or desktop.
Believe it or not, your website isn’t for you. Yes, you designed it - you even paid for it! - but who is using it? Correct. It’s your user. You, yourself will most likely be reading this information on a mobile device – unless your “old skool” (grandad!) and are viewing this on your desktop. So, ask yourself this: would you prefer to view the regular website on your mobile device where you have to “pinch and zoom” to view information correctly? Or, view the website with responsive web design technology where you have access to all the information, but viewable in an easy, yet consistent way? Answers on a postcard please...
No, not really. It’s quite clear that you’d answer yes to the second question, especially if you’re a mobile user. By designing your website so it is responsive, you’ll blow your competitors out of the water as you’ll be confident you’re giving your audience a great user experience, AND... not only does responsive design adapt to the current screen sizes that are available today, it will also satisfy the screen sizes of the many devices and browsers of the future.
Tip: Your website is a clever little thing. It is programmed to know what device it is being viewed on and will adapt according. Maybe you should give it a treat?
It would be easy to confuse responsive web design with mobile website. Yes, they both offer a great user experience for users accessing websites on mobile devices, but they are different. A mobile website “strips” away the non-essential information. People that view mobile websites on their mobile devices want to find specific information – and they want to find it fast! A mobile website offers this because you are able to easily scroll through the website and click on buttons with just 1-finger or your thumb. At the core it’s about getting from point A to point B with the least number of clicks.
A responsive website – as you’ve just learnt – adapts to the screen size it is being viewed on. This means all the website content that is currently on the website remains on the website, and there is no need to strip away any non-essential items. Due to the responsive architecture, the website content is just reorganized, but is still viewable and easily scrollable using just your finger or thumb. But whether your website is responsive or you have a mobile website, don’t you want to give your audience the ultimate user experience? Clearly. Well here’s how...
You can – should! – do both. Err..., what? Let us explain. Your website will be responsive for desktop and tablet browsers, but when the website detects that it is being viewed on a smartphone – don’t forget what a clever little thing it is – the mobile website will appear. Shut the front door! – exactly.