Laptops, tablets, smartphones, desktops, e-readers… Whew! The list goes on and on. With technology literally at the fingertips of consumers it’s important to make sure your web design doesn’t leave anyone out. In order to create a stress-free way of navigating the World Wide Web, many website designers are employing a technique referred to as responsive web design. So, let’s put some stretchy pants on and get comfortable because we’re about to meet the design strategy that lets your website grow, shrink, twist or flip with each device!
Or shrink your verticals? Responsive web design was a design strategy dreamt up to answer the question as to how designers were supposed to keep up with evolving technology and the demands placed on web pages. Consumers now have a list of devices in which they can use to surf the web, ranging in size from small to giant, with capabilities that can change the screen from horizontal to vertical with the flick of a wrist. Believe it or not, websites were once solely designed to accommodate desktop and laptop computers. When faced with a small smartphone or tablet the website would struggle to fit into such a small space. This resulted in content being left out, a webpage that is hard to navigate and dangerously slow loading times.
In order to answer this design conundrum, Ethan Marcotte wrote an article about a design approach that would change the face of web design. His response was to create a website that adjusted to the device that it was being viewed on. As a user changes devices, the website will automatically switch to accommodate for resolution and image size, ensuring that the webpage fits nicely into one small or large package. This allows for the same content to be viewed on any device, instead of sweeping difficult content under the rug. The strategy was simple; user-friendly across more devices equals more users.
Optimizing Website Performance
Before responsive web design the answer to changing devices was to create mobile websites for each device. This is not only costly but very time consuming when you have to design and maintain a different website for each device. Let alone the chances that a smartphone or laptop may be replaced or upgraded by a different version. UGURUS‘ answer to responsive vs mobile design is simple,
“Mobile design entails creating an entirely new website or web app with content specifically created for the mobile experience. Responsive Design, on the other hand, means that the same domain, the same content, and the same syntax respond to different viewports to provide the best user experience possible for each device.”
Not only does responsive design save money but it also optimizes SEO. That’s right! When creating different mobile apps and webpages you have to use different URL addresses for each device, which results in differing search results on multiple devices. By utilizing one webpage that is friendly to all devices you’re making your web presence more accessible to search engines who are looking to put you on the first page.
In a Nutshell
So what do we know about responsive web design? For starters, your website will definitely not be leaving anyone out. From iPhone, to Droid, to tablet, or desktop your website will be able to accommodate all users. Secondly, it will save you money! Not only up front but also in the long run, since you will only have to pay for one website to be designed and maintained. Last but not least, a responsive web design will also make your website work harder for you by optimizing where you stand on any search engine results.
So, what can you do to get a responsive website design? Contact your favorite NW Creative Agency and let’s get started!