When the development of websites started to grow and gain popularity in the 1990s, the only objective for web designers was to create websites that were compatible with desktop computers. Over the years however, multiple internet enabled devices have flooded the global market. With the increase in popularity in various versions of internet enabled devices, it is vital for companies to design their websites using responsive web design to interact and stay in touch with people.
It is predicted that 1.2 billion smart phones will be sold in the year 2013 alone!
What Is Responsive Web Design
The basic concept of responsive web design is to design once, but have it adjust to virtually any screen and device currently available, and even those not yet created. It does this by not focusing on what device is accessing it, which can quickly become a long list of variables, but instead seeing at which sizes the website design “breaks”, and adjusting it to not do so. By focusing on breakpoints, instead of device size, you are fixing the fundamental issues with the design. This creates a cleaner, more fluid design that reacts to itself, instead of the ever-changing landscape of devices.
This means, whether a device is as large as a Full HD Monitor, or as small as a Mobile Phone, the images, text, videos, animations, functions, and more will all adjust to fit and work accordingly. No matter where or from what device a user is visiting a responsive website, you can be sure that they are experiencing it properly.
Benefits of Responsive Website Design
Accessibility: Most smartphone users have their devices on them 24/7, which means that most people will use these devices to access a website on a daily basis. It is therefore vital to ensure that individuals can access your website no matter what device they use.
As a brand sets out to optimize their Social Media plan this is something that they must think about very carefully. Social Media is all about the sharing of content and each business hopes that their content and their products or services become worthy of being shared. With this is mind it is detrimental to that plan to have a website that is not easy to engage with when viewed on a non traditional, mobile device. While they might seem disconnected they all mold together to create a comprehensive make sense plan.
Cost: The long term cost of creating a responsive design is going to be less than having to create different versions of your website for the different device experiences. Although the initial cost of creating a responsive design is a bit higher, the alternative would be to create an application for every mobile platform in the market today; a task that will require lots of time and will cost more in the aggregate!
Stay Optimized: It seems like yesterday when the only resolution on computer monitors was 1280×1024 (or 1024×768, if you’re old enough). Today, HD screens with greater resolutions are all too common. Websites which were designed to specifically fit old PC monitors leave unattractive gaps of space on the sides when viewed through high resolution HD screens. Having a responsive design will allow you to fix this in the near term and will always keep you in the game because regardless of what new screen types are created, a properly developed responsive design will always be compatible with it.
Image: For a business to create and maintain a strong brand, it must portray a positive image to its clients, customers and/or prospects. A key component in branding today is having an amazing website with great content and attractive design. Businesses often spend a lot on their website to achieve the goal of leaving a lasting impression, so to not do the same for alternate experiences such as mobile and tablets would run counter to that strategy. If you have an amazing desktop version for your website then naturally, people will expect the same in their smartphones, tablets and other internet devices. A responsive website design will ensure that your website meets this expectation by delivering on the same user experience that people get on the desktop version.