Responsive website design

News: March 2013

Responsive website design

More and more people are embracing the mobile internet. People are visiting websites on everything from smartphones to tablets, ultra small laptops / netbooks to desktops with massive screens. As such, website design has had to adapt in order to ensure that the web content displays properly on everything from an iPhone to a 50 inch TV.

This shift in website technology requirements has resulted in what is called “responsive web design”. This technology promises users a simpler, more satisfying online experience by adapting content to display differently on different types of screen.

Responsive web design sites are specially designed and coded so that when a visitor’s device type is detected—smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop—they serve up content that’s appropriately sized for that specific screen size. This is exactly what visitors want.

A responsive design allows businesses to create and maintain one website which serves both PC and mobile device traffic. This allows for increased levels of engagement with customers (and potential customers) who can access your website regardless of their chosen device. Furthermore, your business could gain an advantage over competitors as responsive design is still quite new and your competitors may not have embraced this technology yet.

Increasing numbers of businesses are recognising that growth in usage of mobile devices for viewing web content can offer another route to market. Website users want instant access to information so designing a site that caters for this can only be a good thing.

This type of website design requires that files and graphic images are kept small to ensure all website pages load fast. It’s often best to design the mobile website first and then the desktop version.

If you embark on a project to implement responsive website technology for your business’s website, be prepared to do lots of testing. You will need to ensure that your site displays appropriately on a range of devices with different screen sizes and download speeds. If possible, gather user feedback from your customers in order to refine your site and deliver maximum value to your target audience.