The days when mobile was a niche means of browsing the world wide web are over. More than half – around fifty-one per cent – of all global internet users now access their online resources using only their smartphone.
That makes huge demands on websites … and on designers. When mobile is the dominant means of accessing the internet, webpages need to display beautifully on even the smallest screens.
And yet, other devices – from tablets to laptops, desktops to large plasma screens – remain significant channels for internet activity. The marketplace is fragmented and is likely to remain that way. The days of the one-size-fits-all website have been gone for some time.
The answer to this new age of variety is responsive design. Put simply, this is an approach to web development which ensures that a site can query a user’s device – and display in a way that is appropriate to that platform’s screen size and orientation.
Responsive design enables any site to look beautiful on every device. And that brings with it significant benefits in this age of mobile internet access.
1. Responsive Design Improves User Experience
These days, users are looking to have the same experience of a website, no matter what device they are on. Non-responsive websites distort the user experience because they don’t appear the same across the board. So, users have to learn the site anew on each visit. Reduce this kind of friction – it’ll increase your conversion rates.
2. Responsive Design is Cost Effective and Requires Less Maintenance.
Having a responsive web design which works on every device will not only save on costs but will also increase the reach of your business to different users. That’s because you won’t need to build a different site for each platform. Responsive design means one website – and that means one bill and one set of maintenance tasks.
3. Responsive Design Means Better SEO and Better Rankings.
A responsive website only generates one URL instead of two URLs for two different versions of the same website (or five for five!). This, in turn, facilitates better search engine optimisation – which results in better ranking on Google. Google also awards extra SEO points to websites that use responsive design – so you’ll have a head start regardless.
There’s no excuse not to use responsive design in today’s web marketplace – in fact, it should be non-negotiable. The reasons to use responsive web design are legion in today’s multi-platform world. In fact, the case for responsive design is more or less unanswerable, as these key three benefits for having a responsive website show!
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