April 18, 2017
A few years ago it would have seemed absurd to think that mobile devices would account for the majority of website usage. In 2016 mobile usage passed desktop. This change affects every aspect of web design.
By Andrew Gregory
Responsive web design refers to a website scaling to fit many screen sizes. But, it does not stop there.
Responsive web design is providing customers and prospects with the best experience regardless of:
Where they are accessing the website from
What device they are using
How fast their internet is
And how well they understand technology
Let’s look a little closer at three key aspects of responsive web design.
Mobile internet usage has made the phrase "content is king" even more important. When a visitor views a website on a desktop computer, excess content can be skimmed or ignored. When the same content is accessed on a small screen the amount of visible content is limited. Visitors will lose interest if it is irrelevant.
A website’s content is the reason the website exists. How a website's content is structured is extremely important. It is also essential that a website’s content is concise and focused. The website should help visitors find and engage with the content.
Another significant change with mobile web access is performance. High speed internet connections are widely available. Yet, website visitors expect it to be as fast when they access it from home as when they access it from their car.
Google has used speed as one of the factors in how they rank websites in their search results for many years. They have continued to expand this as mobile internet usage increases. This is because Google understands that visitors want (and expect) a good user experience.
Having a fast website will not only help your business stand out from the competition, but it will improve your search rankings. More importantly, it can have drastic results in how well your website converts.
“A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.” - Kissmetrics Blog
We already know visitors are accessing websites from many different devices. How the visitor interacts with the website is important to their experience.
Visitors use a variety of methods to interact with your website. Everything from a keyboard and mouse to a stylus, a touchscreen, or even voice commands.
Once again the change to mobile impacts how a website needs to be designed so that it is responsive to your visitor's needs. For example, buttons need to be larger to accommodate the inaccuracy of a touchscreen. Each website should be built to work with a variety of input methods, not only for a keyboard and mouse.
It is critical to design a website that responds to the needs of your visitors. We must provide an experience that does not get in their way. Instead it should be easy for them to find and interact with the content that they are looking for. This includes organizing the content, making it load quickly, and easy to interact with.
The internet is constantly changing and evolving, so a website is never finished. Your business’s customers and prospects expect your website to meet their needs. If not, they will find another that does.
Responsive web design is much more than adjusting to different screen sizes. It is planning, designing, and creating a website that best serves the visitors.
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