Responsive web design has become the world-standard for websites.
It is crucial to understand that having your website adapt to the various sizes of smartphones, tablets, and desktops is massively beneficial to your business.
The technology we use today for user experience on the internet is far from what it used to be. It has grown exponentially in the last 15 years, and even more so in the last 5 years. Smartphones and tablets have changed the approach towards design and user experience, so in order to adapt to the various devices we need to conform to, design philosophy has had to keep up with the ever-changing modern internet user. In the early days, websites were constructed for one device and one device only; the standard desktop on the everyday household computer. Trying to browse a website designed only for a desktop on a mobile device is frustrating, and needless to say, more likely to make you give up visiting the site all together.
Now-a-days we have the enhancements required to create a website that works for all devices, and the understanding to create them in a way that makes them load quickly, look beautiful, and function flawlessly.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web Design is the concept of structuring a website such that the behind-the-scenes code and content layout is designed with the idea to adapt to every device. The creation of a responsive website involves the designer knowing how to apply dynamic code that changes when the website is constricted to a certain horizontal width. If the website is in a browser that is too small for it to maintain its style and function properly, new rules are applied in these certain widths that gradually change the look and user experience. For example, www.cnn.com is a website that adheres to this criteria. When the site constricts, the information on the page adapts to its environment; In such a way as to fill the screen it is constrained to.
If you are on a desktop computer reading this article, try taking the edge of your browser window and steadily moving it inwards so that the frame becomes smaller and smaller. You will notice menu items changing appearance and rearranging, images sliding and scaling to fit the window, sidebars and content being formatted in a way that corresponds within the browser. The website re-adjusts itself to fit whatever size window it is being shown in.
This is what it means to have a responsive website.
It adapts to its container. A smartphone has an average width of around 480-640 pixels for newer iPhones. The tablet standard width is around 768 pixels wide, and laptops / desktops are usually around 1024 pixels wide and up.
A responsive site is designed in such a way so that the code changes the “rules” of the webpage as the viewing size changes. In fact, doing it in this way actually makes the website load more quickly.
The ultimate goal of designing the website this way is so that the user, on whatever device they choose, will be able to see images clearly, read text that otherwise would have been too small to read, click on menu items to navigate to different areas of the page, and overall have a much better user experience.
Advantages of Responsive Design
Responsive websites are fluid. They smoothly adapt to their surroundings, and guarantee a greater interaction with the user. The content moves easily across all screen resolutions and devices, which means you can read articles like this one on your smartphone without having to use your fingers to try and zoom in on specific areas.
More Efficient User Experience
Have you ever come across a website that makes you instantly close the window? It can make you very frustrated trying to navigate a website that forces you to zoom in on small areas. If you mis-click on items you did not want to click on, in most cases it will simply not do what it’s supposed to do. Having a website that is easy to use for someone on a smartphone or tablet is crucial; It keeps them around. You want people to stay on your website. Whatever services or content you were intending to provide may go completely unseen with a website that is difficult to use on modern portable devices.
The “Wow” Factor
Google Wants You To Be Responsive
Google is the big boss of the internet. What Google says, most follow suit. The reason why is Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short). Google says responsive websites fit their criteria for the industry standard, and such will prioritize these websites over others, allowing your website to climb higher in search rankings. This is very important, because over 3.5 BILLION google searches happen every day. Any one of these people could miss a website that is buried too far in Google’s search results simply because it was not created to fit across all devices.
“Adaptive” technology is the predecessor to responsive web design. Some companies will create multiple websites in order to fit certain devices, and not all devices, either. This is an expensive process, as each website is mostly created from scratch with resources from the general project, and are only designed to fit particular devices. This practice is still utilized today. These type of websites can usually only fit one variation of smartphone, tablet, and desktop. This means that the proprietor spends more money with the developer or agency. Having a single website that fits on every device is cost-efficient and saves money in the long-term.
Moral of the story
If you want to stay ahead of the competition, a responsive web design is the path of righteousness. It is worth the time to consider the option of a website created to fit every device, as it can guarantee you a larger viewership, resulting in a larger ROI, which results in a positive image and greater success for your business. There’s no reason not to consider the trends that propel us to the future of internet brow