In 2019, nearly 50% of global website traffic has been done on mobile devices. The number of eCommerce purchases made on mobile devices is rapidly increasing. There are currently more mobile devices than there are humans on this earth.
The evidence of mobile usage can’t be ignored and the importance of responsive web design can’t be denied. But what exactly is responsive design? How does it work? Why does it matter?
What is responsive web design?
When a website is responsive, it means that it will adapt to the size of any screen that it is being viewed on. This means that your website could be viewed and used on a desktop, a cell phone, a tablet, or any other device and perform consistently.
When the world first went mobile, most websites were not “mobile-friendly”. Web designers were forced to evaluate their approach to design and find a way to make websites work on these new devices. Initially, this solution was to create one version of every website for desktops and another version for mobile devices. This mobile-friendly version was scaled to specifically fit the dimensions of the screen of the mobile device.
As new devices and screen sizes became available, this solution was re-evaluated, and the concept of Responsive Web Design (RWD) was coined. Instead of being scaled to one specific screen size, responsive websites adjust and adapt to any device size, so that all elements function properly and all visual elements look their best.
How does responsive web design work?
In order for a website to look and perform its best on all devices, it should be professionally designed and built. There are many visual and functional elements that need to be considered when designing a responsive website:
- Navigation. How does your navigation menu look and perform on various devices? Is it easy to locate and to use? If a user can easily navigate your website, they’re more likely to visit more pages and possibly take action by providing their contact information or making a purchase.
- Buttons and Forms. Your call to action can be strong, but if a user can’t easily press a button or fill out a form on their preferred device, you could lose that chance of conversion.
- Visual Elements. Most websites contain logos, photos, videos, and structured typography to better reflect and showcase the brand. These elements should always adapt to every device, so that users can see these elements without unnecessary scrolling or manually resizing the screen.
Typically, most elements will easily scale to any device and maintain their appearance and performance. But depending on content length or quantity of content sections, it can be useful to utilize collapsable sections and accordions on smaller devices, to make navigation as efficient and as easy as possible for the user. When a website is professionally designed and built, these elements are thoroughly evaluated on all devices and are tailor made to be as responsive as possible.
Why does responsive web design matter?
When a website is responsive, it provides a seamless user experience no matter what device the user is using.
Say you have a satisfied client or customer. They purchased your product or service once before, and then some time later, they’re out and about and realize they could use your product or service again. They don’t want to wait until they get to their home or office, so they visit your website on their mobile device or their tablet. If your website is responsive, they’ll have the same stellar experience that they had on their desktop, ensuring their continued satisfaction and continued commerce.
Or, say that your satisfied client or customer refers you to a friend or family member, and that new potential client or customer visits your website for the first time on their mobile device. When your responsive website reflects the efficiency and quality that your satisfied client raved about, the new client is more likely to convert.
Making sure that your website is responsive will increase traffic on all devices and ensure a universally-satisfying user experience.
We are passionate about responsive web design.
We believe that a website isn’t complete if it isn’t responsive. When a website looks fantastic and operates seamlessly on all devices, we know that each visitor will have an exceptional user experience and our clients will be more than satisfied with their conversion rates.
Are you satisfied with the way your website responds and performs on all devices? We’d love to discuss how we can take your web design to the next level.