Every website has different needs and thus requires different features which are important for its success. For example, an online retail store which sells clothes has to have an inventory control feature for ensuring the items for sale are in stock and available.
However, this same feature will be useless for a law firm which is not selling any physical products online but is only promoting its services. Regardless of specific features and needs, a common feature critical to the success of all websites is responsive design and mobile friendliness.
The field of web development and design is now unable to keep up with new devices and resolutions. Creating a different version for each new device or resolution is not only impractical, but also impossible.
However, if a website is not optimized for certain devices it risks losing out on visitors from those devices. These devices include smartphones, tablets, PCs and even TVs, people generally use them interchangeably to move through the buying process for different services/products.
The following device statistics highlight how businesses can provide a seamless experience to their visitors and can benefit from increased engagement and sales.
By mid-2016, over two-thirds of adults in the UK had access to a tablet
At the end of the first quarter in 2016, 71% of UK adults had a smartphone
With the increase in smartphone usage in the country, businesses should adopt to a responsive web design. Before discussing how you can ensure your web design is responsive, let’s understand what a responsive web design actually is.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is the approach which suggests that website development and design should respond to the behavior and environment of the user. This includes the screen size, platform, and orientation.
It involves utilizing flexible layouts, grids, and images. For example, if a user switches from his laptop to tablet, the website should also automatically switch to accommodate the differences in image size and resolution between the two devices.
This means that the website should respond to the user’s preferences, thereby eliminating the need for different designs for all the different devices in the market today. In other words, a wider display should allow viewers to easily browse a site with multiple columns while a smaller screen should have the same content presented in a single column with appropriately sized columns and links.
Mobile/smartphones are slowly taking over the primary way users experience the web. This means that having a responsive website is more crucial than ever.
Web design experts Pelling Design explained the importance of this in their article “Is Your Business Prepared for the Mobile Browsing Revolution by saying that responsive design that is optimized for multiple devices should be at the top of your “wish list”.
Responsive design does not only mean a consistent experience on smartphones – it includes the way websites work on all screens. Hence, businesses looking to make their web design more responsive should have simpler layouts and streamlined experiences.
Benefits of Having a Responsive Web Design
The benefits of having a responsive web design include:
Supporting multi-device users to ensure a seamless and consistent experience – this can ensure that users returning to your site from a different device can easily access the same information they were interested in.
Easier website management – a responsive website means that you don’t have to maintain or worry about updating multiple versions.
Improved ranking on SERPs – Search engine giant Google recommends using a responsive web design which can support different devices/screen sizes. According to Google, over 50 % of its searches are for mobile devices.
Responsive web designs ensure future scalability – as responsive sites are fluid, they can easily be scaled up or down as needed to fit different screens. This means that businesses with a responsive site can efficiently respond to new devices with a design suited to a range of screen sizes.
Tips for ensuring a Responsive Web Design
How can you ensure that your web design is responsive and provides a good user experience across multiple platforms? Keeping these 4 principles in mind will save you a ton of time (and visitors):
1 – Remove unnecessary content or codes
Remove all redundant or unnecessary content or codes, but retain features which offer functionality. These include product pages, navigation menus, etc.
2 –Design with mobile in mind
As more and more people use smartphones for browsing websites, your website should be mobile friendly. This means that you should design your site for the smallest screen and work your way up.
Ensure that your call to actions (CTAs) are clear and can be easily tapped. Generally, designers also recommend reducing the size of graphics as complex or landscaped images do not display well on smaller screens.
Also, remember to prioritize content using a content inventory which lists all the page rankings and elements based on their importance.
Websites with a complex user interface or special features and rich media do not translate well onto smaller screens. Hence, it is important to keep your UI as simple as possible.
4 – Intuitive web design
A responsive web design is easy to use across different platforms. To ensure that your website is intuitive, you can use grid layouts, aligned page tabs, a left to right page layout, etc.
Before you go
Responsive web designs are not only low maintenance, but also provide versatility and a good user experience. Hence, if you want your business to stand out, you should consider consulting a professional web design agency which can help you to build a unique, intuitive and responsive website.
Is your website responsive? And if not, what keeps you from having it?
Apostle is a pure-blood Marketer. His job is to find a way when ostensibly there is none. Planning and executing A/B Tests, Email & Content Marketing along with alternative marketing techniques based on human psychology, all for the sake of customer success.