The Importance of Responsive Web Design

The Importance of Responsive Web Design

We all know by now that every business, big or small, needs a website. If your business isn’t getting the growth it is expected to see, an absent or bad website may be the cause. This has almost always been the case, however in today’s technology driven society, device optimization can also have a major impact on your sales, leads, conversions, and page views. As technology has continued to advance and become more widely available, the desktop computer is being replaced with tablets and even more so, mobile devices. Because of this, your website has to look good on every device, and therefore must have a responsive design.

What is responsive design?

Optimizing your website for various devices, screen widths, and orientations is called responsive design. Basically, your website responds, displays differently, based on the user’s device. Defined by w3schools as, “Responsive Web Design is about using CSS and HTML to resize, hide, shrink, enlarge, or move the content to make it look good on any screen.” There are few ways to develop a website that enables it to display optimally for mobile devices, but I prefer the method of CSS media queries. A CSS media query is a set of defined rules and styles that are presented to the viewer based on defined criteria, usually device width. Generally, multiple queries are used to account for the most popular device widths and orientations (portrait and landscape). Using CSS, you can hide or display different elements, stack columns, resize photographs, and much more. Two very typical change you can see on a responsive website are a collapsed navigation menu (on desktop a menu will go across the top of the page horizontally, and then appear as a “hamburger” menu on a mobile device that expands when tapped), and the appearance of buttons when on a mobile device. The responsive capabilities for each device width are really endless, but the intention is to present a user-friendly and intuitive design for every kind of device.

Why it matters.

Pinch and zoom no longer satisfies internet consumers. If they are searching for a new product or service on their mobile device, find your business on a Google Search, and then can’t read any of the information or take any action because the site is too small on their phones, then they will leave. In fact, according to iAquire, 40% of people will choose another search result if your site is not mobile friendly. Many people don’t even have computers anymore, they use smartphones as their main source for computing. From 2013 to 2015, comScore said that smartphone internet consumption increased by 78%. So many people are using tablets and phones to browse the web, which is why it is so important for your web developer to build you a fully responsible website. For more responsive website stats check out Skillcrush’s blog article on 9 Mobile Statistics That Will Make You Learn Responsive Web Design.