Many clients today want a mobile version of their website, and for good reason. Consumers are no longer only searching for content via their desktops. There are numerous options available through which individuals can access the internet, including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Within those device groupings there are hundreds of specific products with their own set of differences, such as variations in screen resolution. Unfortunately, the old way of designing a website does not work on them all. Trying to do so will result in the need for a lot of panning, zooming, erroneous clicking, and frustration. In order for users to have a positive experience on a site, no matter what piece of technology they have in hand, a responsive web design is necessary.
A responsive web design (RWD) will provide an optimal viewing experience for a user that includes easy reading and navigation of a page. There is minimum need for resizing, panning, and scrolling on any device because the layout is adapted to the viewing environment through proportion-based grids that use relative units rather than pixels, flexible images also sized in relative units, and CSS media queries that adjust the page to different characteristics of the device (like width of the browser). The technology should automatically respond to the user’s preference seamlessly.
If you are wondering if you really need a responsive web design, the answer is yes. RWD is essential to being on the cutting edge and ahead of competitors. If users cannot quickly and efficiently access your website they will become discouraged, lose interest, and move on to another site that is easier for them to view.
An investigation through Google Analytics will reveal that the percentage of users who have accessed websites through tablets and mobile devices over just the last year alone has increased significantly. While each website’s audience is different, current research by the Pewter Research Center indicates that 57% (perhaps more) of Americans use their cellular phones to access the internet. This percentage has doubled since 2009. 34% of mobile internet users consider their phone to be their primary internet device, meaning you could be missing out on a large audience by not have a RWD. The cost of redesigning your website to meet a variety of device platforms and orientations is a small price to pay when you consider the profit to be made from potential clients, or rather the money that is not being made right now.