Nowadays people prefer to browse the internet on mobile phones, smart phones, tablets or mini laptops. They prefer to use convenient electronic devices that are easy to handle and carry from one place to another. earlier checking social media profiles, applications, specific websites or just browsing the internet from smart phones or tablets was not easy. The layout of most websites did not match the screen size, making them difficult to navigate. However, the advancements in technology allowed the creation of new methods to enable ease of use. A website with a responsive web design will always adapt to the screen, regardless of the device. These websites offer the best user experience by reformatting themselves according to the device that is used to browse it. ‘Responsive design’ is the next big thing in the web design domain. It will make your website device friendly and improve the way it looks not only on small but on large screens as well.
What is responsive design?
A responsive design website is developed in a way where the content, images and the structure of the website adjusts for optimal viewing on any device. This type of design automatically scales the content and other elements to match the screen size of the device that is used to view it. It allows the layout of the overall site to change with respect to the screen size. For example, when a user accesses a site on their desktop, they get a full view of the website. But when the user visits the same site using a smartphone or a tablet, the site will retract to fit on the small screen.
The ultimate goal of responsive design is to get rid of unnecessary scrolling, resizing, zooming or any panning that would happen when visiting websites that have not been optimized for different devices. It is very difficult to browse these kinds of websites on devices with smaller screens. Businesses may even lose potential consumers, as they become frustrated trying to figure out how to do something on these websites.
Instead of developing different websites for different screen sizes, one can design a single responsive design website that scales up and down automatically to match the device that is used to view it.
Why is responsive design important?
The reasons that make responsive design important are as follows –
Ideal for multi device users
We live in a world where websites are viewed on different devices. In this busy world, people find it easy to browse through a website while they travel or when they are sipping a cup of coffee. Retrieving information using smartphones or laptops is quite easy and also seamless at the same time. Sometimes a user has to leave a website abruptly only to come back later. Also users can return to the same website from any other device at some other time. So modern websites need to work well at any time regardless of the device they are viewed on. If a user visits your website for particular information and they return later using a different device looking for the same piece of information, they should not fail to locate it. The consistency of information must exist regardless of the device the visitor uses. There comes the need for responsive design, as it ensures the consistency of information irrespective of any device. So users can check the same website from a tablet and later check the same content from their smartphones. A website with responsive web design will help the user retrieve required information, shop online or simply browse without a hassle.
Improve search engine rankings
It has been a long time since Google recommended using responsive web design to support different devices and screen sizes. This recommendation went a step further when the search engine started adding a “Mobile friendly” label to those websites that used this approach. The labels appeared on the search results page on any mobile device. From April 2015, Google began rewarding those sites that have been developed responsively for multi-device support. By rewarding mobile friendly sites, it is evident that responsive web design is an important criterion in SEO. So for websites to rank better in search engine results, it is important that websites be designed based on the responsive web design approach.
Increase in lead generation, sales and conversions for businesses
Apart from search engine benefits, responsive design is an important factor for generating leads and increasing sales and conversions. Users feel more comfortable when they shop online or purchase a product from their tablet rather than after browsing the website on a desktop. Responsive web design makes it easy for consumers to shop online for products they desire. Users can easily find a product online when they search for them using a smartphone. They can also retrieve information easily from devices like smartphones and tablets. Surveys and studies have revealed that responsive design websites are an important factor for increasing conversion rates for a brand. There has been a research that found out that 69% of users have shopped on their mobile device during the last 30 days. People find it more convenient to purchase any product using their smartphones or tablets rather than being forced to use a desktop. Even enquiring about a particular product or service is easy with the help of small, easy to handle electronic devices. So websites built responsively aid to better navigation and thus increase sales and conversion rate.
One site to maintain
It is very difficult to maintain different websites for different devices. Updating more than one site, managing content and maintaining the sites is a hectic task. Firstly, a multiplication of the workload is needed to maintain several sites for the same brand, at the same time. Also running SEO campaigns for more than one site is really hectic and costly. This requires that a business hire more people who would be dedicated only to updating the websites and also manage the content. Secondly websites for small screen devices will have a subset of the original content and feature. So this can be different from the feature and content of the “normal version” of the site. This may frustrate multi-device users who expect to access the same information across all their devices. So as a result they will abandon the site abruptly and never bother to visit the site again. Having one responsive site to maintain rather than multiple versions of the same site is much easier. The cost involved for a responsive site is also less as compared to the expenditure involved in maintaining more than one sites. A good responsive design company will help you get a site that runs well across all the devices and that is easy to maintain. So everything is stored in one single place for easy maintenance.
Seamless user experience
Websites that do not have a responsive web design are difficult to navigate on small screens. Be it tablet or smartphone, the text appears all jumbled up, images are not aligned and users find it difficult to get the required information after scrolling through endless pages. It is really painful and also hectic to find the required information after so much of scrolling. A website aligned to responsive web design will provide consumers with a better user experience. There is no need to zoom and shrink the text or images on the screen. The content automatically adjusts to the screen of the device. When a user receives a seamless experience, the user will come back to the website again. So the website traffic increases to a great extent. This is something good for brands looking forward to increase traffic on their websites.
Keeping competitors at edge
In this competitive world, businesses try to opt for new techniques to keep competitors at bay. So when more consumers are using their mobile devices to search or shop online, brands have to cater to the needs of consumers by providing them with access to a mobile-friendly website. Businesses these days are incorporating responsive web design for their brands so that consumers can easily navigate through the site seamlessly. Also shopping online is hassle free with the help of this feature. So to keep competitors at bay, responsive web design is a must have.
These are some of the reasons that underline the importance of responsive web design for almost any website. This approach provides a chance to support new kinds of devices and screens in the future as well. Scaling up and down with respect to the website is not a problem for responsive websites. So in the future, irrespective of the devices that hit the market, responsive websites will always be ready to fit the screen easily. Irrespective of the website being a e-commerce portal, informative resource based website or a social media website – responsive web design is the need of the hour. So go for a reliable responsive design company that would provide you with a good design for your website. So for businesses looking for potential consumers and also to retain existing ones, responsive websites can come to their rescue. When a user feels comfortable browsing a certain website, he or she returns to the same website repeatedly. So considering the ease of management, flexibility, cost effectiveness, gains in search engine optimization and improvements in user experience, businesses must go for responsive websites.