The importance of Responsive Design

The importance of Responsive Design

Primary benefits are:

Increasing your reach to tablet and mobile audiences

Increasing use of the internet and proliferation of web applications on tablet and mobile devices has been the driving force behind this development.  Traditionally users would be re-directed to a device specific site (e.g. mobile), but responsive design means one site can be implemented across devices.

Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year, meaning that responsive design has never been so important for those looking to optimise their online content.

Increase sales and conversion rates

Another benefit of responsive design is that the user has an improved site experience as there is no need for redirection, use of standardised Style Sheets (CSS) across devices and unified design approach will also create a consistent look and feel.  Consistent user experience will have a positive impact on your conversion rates as people are familiar with navigation and site or system use across devices.  Responsive design removes some of the barriers that having multiple sites can present, i.e. in functionality, performance and consistent look and feel.

Consolidate your analytics and reporting

A single responsive site means that you no longer have to track user journeys, conversion paths, funnels and redirections between your sites. Site analytics tools like Google Analytics are now optimised to handle multiple devices and responsive reporting. All of your tracking and analytics will continue to function and be condensed into a single report, allowing for easier monitoring and analysis.

Increase your visibility in search engines

Responsive Design means you can manage one website with a single set of hypertext links; therefore reducing the time spent maintaining your site. This allows you to focus on link outreach with a consolidated Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. SEO campaigns can be time consuming and costly, but by creating a responsive site, all of your efforts can be focussed on a single site, with unified strategy and tactics across devices.

Content is vital in SEO, good quality content which is regularly released improves your search engine ranking page positioning, therefore a further advantage of responsive design is that fewer resources can be wasted in low-level duplication of content across sites, the content need only be applied to a single site, increasing your chances or a higher search engine ranking.

Additionally Google suggest that mobile optimised, responsive sites are featuring prominently in localised search results. This is obviously of huge significance to high street and online retailers, amongst other burgeoning mobile use cases.

Save time and cost on mobile development

A primary benefit of adopting a responsive design is that it takes less time than creating an additional stand-alone mobile site, which has been the traditional approach. Testing across a number of websites also increases your development, support and maintenance overhead. As styles are re-used and optimised by device standardised testing methodologies can also be used.

As a Plusto website owner, we can now convert your website to a responsive website within days.

 

Save time and cost on site management

Clients will also find it much easier and less time consuming to manage and maintain a single site,  with much less content to manage. Additionally a single administrative interface can easily be optimised, using layout and workflow tools to manage the correct content, or site templates that are being used for different devices. Business logic can be applied such that the overall multi-device experience can be significantly enhanced within a single administration, like Plusto.com.

Enhance user’s offline browsing experience

Responsive design allows site owners to deliver quality content to audiences across devices, the offline browsing capabilities of HTML5 mean that sites can be easily accessed ‘on the go’. As HTML5 enabled tablets and smart phones proliferate this will become increasingly important.  Email newsletters, and content contained in hybrid HTML5 web applications will increasingly be consumed on the move and in the absence of an internet connection.

 

Why Is Responsive Web Design Important For Your Website

Smartphones and tablets have changed the approach toward design and user experience. Before the proliferation of mobile devices with advanced web-browsing capability , web designers had only one primary challenge to deal with – keeping the same look and feel of their websites in various desktop computer browsers.

However, interacting with websites on smartphones and tablets is not the same as doing that on a desktop computer monitors. Factors such as Click versus Touch, Screen-size, Pixel-resolution, support for Adobe’s Flash technology, optimized mark-up and many more have become crucial while creating websites with Responsive Design

But, why is responsive design so important for your website? Before we understand that, we must understand what is “Responsive Web Design”.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach of laying-out and coding a website such that the website provides an optimal viewing experience — ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

The designer creating a Responsive Design should ensure that the website’s navigation elements, screen-layouts, text, images, audio/video players and other UI elements re-adjust themselves on a variety of devices. Thus, one need not spend extra time and money in creating and maintaining one “mobile-site version” and another “desktop-site version” of her website.

Now, having understood what is Responsive Web Design, let us understand why Responsive Design is important while creating websites.

Why is Responsive Design important for websites?
Time & Money

The notion that making a responsive website is expensive is just that, a notion. The fact is, while the cost to make a responsive website is somewhat more than making a conventional website, but the expenses to duplicate a website for mobile and other devices gets completely eliminated, as a result – that cuts total development costs, significantly. In addition to that, a responsive design cuts the total ownership cost, by means of taking away the effort to maintain different versions of a website i.e. a “desktop-version”, a “mobile-version”.  Thus, in the long term, investing in responsive website design is the smartest decision.

Pervasion of the Mobile Devices

Internet traffic originating from mobile devices is rising exponentially each day. As more and more people get used to browsing the web through their smartphones and tablets, it is foolhardy for any website publisher to ignore responsive web design. The “One Site Fits All Devices” approach soon will be the norm.

User experience

While, content is king and discoverability of content are foremost success metrics, it is the user experience that enables visitors to consume content on any website through the device of their choice and preference, anytime. Thus, responsive web design is about providing the optimal user experience irrespective of whether they use a desktop computer, a smartphone, a tablet or a smart-TV.

Device Agnostic

Responsive Websites are agnostic to devices and their operating systems. A responsive web design ensures that users get the best and consistent experience of a website on any device of the user’s choice and preference – be that the iPhone, the iPad, the smartphones running the Android OS, or the Windows OS and several others. As a result website owners and content publishers can need not exercise the option to build versions of their website for every popular device platform which they expect their audience might be using.

The way ahead

Thus, rather than compartmentalizing website content into disparate, device-specific experiences, it is smarter to adopt the responsive web design approach. That’s not to say there isn’t a business case for separate sites geared toward specific devices; for example, if the user-goals for your mobile content-offering are limited in scope than its desktop equivalent, then serving different content to each might be the best approach.

But that kind of design-thinking does not have to be our default. Now more than ever, digital content is meant to be viewed on a spectrum of different experiences. Responsive web design offers the way forward.