Why Your Site Needs Responsive Web Design
Responsive Web Design (also referred to as RWD) is a method of website design that enables a website to work well with multiple device types. Ever visit a site on your phone and think “this is way too small and difficult to navigate”? Chances are that site was not “responsive.” “Responsive” basically means that the website responds well to the type of device you are using or, more simply, to the size of your browser window. The website changes its format to something more becoming of the specific size of your screen. Both the design and navigation will differ even between different types of mobile devices (i.e., tablet vs. phone). There are many reasons why responsive web design can be one of the most important investments you make.
Better User Experience
Responsive sites provide a much smoother user experience on mobile devices. They eliminate unnecessary scrolling and provide a more efficient way for visitors to find the information they are after. Regular websites often have text menus that must be manually expanded to find what you are looking for. On a mobile device, these menus would be tiny and tricky to operate, which is why most of the navigation on mobile devices is meant for the touch screen and includes images or buttons instead. Even on a regular desktop computer, the website is more user-friendly when it is responsive. If someone changes the size of their browser window or changes their zoom level, the site may react by moving items around to best fit to the new configuration.
Increasing and Maintaining your Customer Base
In this day and age, many people do not own or plan to own an actual desktop computer or laptop. They are dependent on their phone or other mobile device for all their online needs. Other users are constantly “on the go” and use their mobile device for a majority of their browsing and other Internet-based activity. Society is consumed by technology and most people rarely wait until they are near a personal computer. If your site is not easy to use on a mobile device, there is a good chance that you are missing out on website traffic from a large percentage of the population. Instead of limiting your customer base to just those using a desktop or laptop, you could be reaching a much larger group of people by using responsive design on your website.
Better than a Separate Mobile Site
You may be saying to yourself, “I already knew all of this. That’s why I have a separate mobile site!” While that is a step in the right direction, a separate mobile site is usually not the right answer. With a separate mobile site, you have to manage updates to two different sites and probably maintain two different URLs. This is not cost-effective or the best use of your time. Mobile sites also do not rank well in some search engines. If you are like most companies and rely on users finding you through a web search, then you will want to seriously consider making your website responsive.
Is your Site Responsive?
Next time you visit your website from your phone, ask yourself if it provides the optimal user experience or if your users need to do a large amount of scrolling and zooming to find the information they need. You need a responsive site in order to compete in today’s market, as we are in the age of the mobile user. To get a responsive site, contact Kevin Brown Design today for a free review of your site.