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 markup 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.
Benefits of Responsive Web Design
So now (hopefully) you understand what responsive web design is, perhaps we should have a run down of the benefits.
Future proofing. Responsive sites work well across the multitude of existing devices on the market. It’s a safe bet it will for considerable time to come.
Better, faster, smarter user experience. Optimizing your site no matter what the user chooses to view it on makes their life easier. Happier customers means a happier business.
Cost Effective. Responsive sites take a little longer to put together, but they survive longer and the unified approach means management, support and upgrades only need be applied to one place. That saves time and money.
SEO optimised. Managing SEO for separate mobile and desktop sites is hard and doesn’t produce great results. Google actually recommends a responsive approach to combat these problems and a consolidated view of your results means more focus.
Improve conversion rates. An optimised and consistent site, no matter what platform it’s viewed on, provides a better experience for the user which is more likely to lead to them engaging with you than going elsewhere.