With the explosion of mobile devices, including phones, tablets, and laptops, users now have access to the web from almost any device. This is great for you as a business because more people are able to visit your site and interact with you or your products!
With all these different screen sizes, browser software, and settings, it becomes difficult to make your website look good across all of them. That’s where responsive design comes in.
A few years ago, this wasn’t too big of an issue since most websites were designed to work best on desktop browsers (think Google, Facebook). But as we know, users don’t spend their time on desktop computers anymore!
So what happens when someone visits your site on a phone? Or even a tablet? These devices are just as powerful, if not more so than a computer, but they do things differently- typically larger touchscreens and bigger fonts.
That’s why responsive sites use separate stylesheets and HTML templates that automatically adjust depending on the size of the user interface. It’s like designing two versions of your site, one for each platform, and having the other pick which version it uses.
Google was one of the first companies to launch a fully-fledged, well-known responsive website back in 2011 – google.com. Since then, many large corporations have adopted the concept as part of their digital marketing strategy.
History of responsive design
Over the past few years, there have been many different terms used to describe what is now known as “responsive web designs” or “mobile first” websites. Some call it that, while others use other terminology. But no matter which term you choose, they all refer to the same thing!
A responsive website doesn’t start out using mobile-only features, but rather uses elements and styles that scale with whatever device you are viewing the site on. For example, instead of having an elaborate header image and large text for desktop users, the content becomes shorter and more concise in order to take up less space.
The layout then shifts into vertical mode as the user navigates between their phone and computer modes. This way, the user gets the best possible experience regardless of screen size.
Many people these days use the web for everything from banking to shopping, movie streaming, research, and doing business online. With technology being so advanced, there are now ways to access the internet through mobile devices like phones and tablets.
This is called responsive design or mobile-first website development. Rather than creating separate sites for each device, it is much simpler to make one site that automatically adjusts its layout depending on the platform it is accessed on.
Regularly used terms such as “mobile first” and “responsive” mean the same thing. When you visit a website using an app on your phone, it will look similar to the version of the website designed specifically for the smartphone.
The reason this is done is because not only does it feel more intuitive due to the ease of use, but it also allows users to view the content they want without having to adjust the browser settings or software.
There are some apps that do not fully load the features onto their device mode, which can be annoying for very expensive tools or things like Netflix. Having a website that works with any device removes that barrier. A lot of companies have adopted this style of designing.
Examples of responsive design
Over the past few years, there have been many theories about what makes for a good website design. Some say flashy pictures and big fonts are important to create engaging content. Others believe that having lots of features is more valuable than sticking with just the basics. And some suggest using light colors against dark backgrounds or vice versa. It seems like every designer has an opinion about how your site should look!
However, one element always remains constant – mobile device usability. The reason why most websites look bad is because they were designed specifically for the desktop web browser, where most people will still be spending their time online.
But now we live in an era where almost everyone owns a smartphone (or at least knows someone who does!). So instead of giving users the option to choose whether to view your sites on a phone or computer, it’s becoming increasingly important to make your sites accessible through all these devices.
That’s when something called responsive design comes into play. A responsive website uses dimensions and styles that scale down the length and width of the webpage depending on whatever device you use to access it.
This article will go over several examples of responsive designs and what qualities made them special. Then, I will talk a little bit about some easy ways to add responsiveness to your own website.
Responsive web applications
With the explosion of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, users now have access to virtually anywhere they can use their device to read or browse the internet.
This is great for you as an entrepreneur because more people are able to access the content you offer through your site!
Sadly, though, not everyone has a smartphone with them, so they are left out in the cold. Or maybe they do but they cannot connect to the internet via cell phone service due to limited availability.
These individuals are missing out on one of the most important ways to consume content online – by using a website that adjusts its layout depending on what device it is being viewed on.
We call this responsive design.
Not only does this provide easy access to content for all types of users, but it also gives you as the business owner an additional platform to promote and advertise on.
More people will be exposed to your services and products if they are looking at your site on a mobile device than if they were browsing from desktop browser software.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A Mobile-Friendly Site?
To make the experience better for your visitors, there are several benefits of having a mobile friendly website.
Increased Traffic And Conversions
One of the main benefits of having a mobile-friendly website is increased traffic and conversions.
Touch versus mouse clicks
A responsive website is one that will automatically adjust its layout depending upon what device you are using to access it. This includes mobile phones, tablets, computers, and big screen TVs!
Most people are familiar with websites that use touch-based navigation such as your smartphone or tablet where you have to slide along the edge of the web page to go forward or back.
Some sites also feature an option to tap a link to open it outside of the browser which works well for smart devices but not laptops and other computer screens.
What if there was no need for either? A site without any form of navigation or easy way to get from place to place. That would be very difficult to navigate!
That’s why most major companies these days adopt a concept called responsive design. By adding some extra code into their site, they are able to make their pages adapt to different sized windows or browsers.
This makes their site more intuitive and easier to use because everything looks like it belongs together.
Testing your website for responsiveness
Many websites these days use a responsive design approach. This is not new, but it is becoming more popular as technology evolves. A responsive web design allows your browser to resize the site so that it looks good and operates well across different screen sizes (phones, tablets, computers).
A few years ago this was quite the feat. Most sites back then would look bad on mobile phones or large screens because they were designed with one size in mind.
But now, people expect to access their favorite sites via phone, tablet, or computer and find them easy to navigate and aesthetically pleasing!
There are several ways to test whether or not your site uses a responsive design. Some of the most common ones include checking if the site works properly on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop desktop browser, and testing how the page looks on a larger monitor or TV device.
Benefits of responsive design
With the explosion of mobile technology, device-based browsing has become the norm. Almost every major website you visit these days is designed to respond or adapt to whatever screen size browser you are using.
This is called responsive web design (RWD). RWD is not new, but it is becoming increasingly common as designers and developers look at ways to make their sites more interactive and user friendly.
By adding in this element of responsiveness, your site does not need to be limited to one screen format. You can view the content on desktop browsers, tablets, and phones!
There are many benefits to having an RWD website, so let’s talk about some of them!
- Increased engagement. When users find a site that responds well to different screens and devices, they feel comfortable reading content and interacting with features. This creates longer lasting engagements, which increase traffic to the site and word of mouth marketing potential.
- More conversions. Having an intuitive interface makes it easy for visitors to navigate and find what they are looking for. This helps promote ecommerce, create conversations, and get people into action.
- Stress free shopping. Due to the ease of finding products and services, there is no need to go back and forth between websites when buying things.
Challenges of responsive design
Even though there are tools that can help you with creating a website or app that is responsive, not everyone has experience in designing for mobile devices or developing applications.
This could be due to two reasons – it’s still too expensive to hire someone who knows how to do it, or people don’t want to take time out to learn how to make things look good on their smartphone. In fact, one survey found that almost half (46%) of web users prefer using non-responsive sites over those which use responsive designs.
Another reason why some individuals choose not to pursue this skill set is because they feel that once your site/app becomes fully responsive, it will lose its unique style.
However, this isn’t always the case! A well designed responsive site can look just as appealing as any other, regular site.