Living in a responsive age

September 01, 2015 at 4:23 PM

responsive-icon.pngIn this era of mobile technology, it's no wonder that businesses are struggling to keep up. After all, some have only just come around to the idea of getting a website, let alone having one that works on any number of smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and even watches!

It's a hard ask trying to keep up with the times, especially when things are developing and changing so fast. Given that 30% of website visits in New Zealand are now done on mobile devices and 23% of Kiwis now use a smartphone more often than a desktop to access the internet , it's even more important that we design websites with device use in mind.

Traditional "mobile friendly" design simply shrunk websites down to fit a mobile screen. All well and good, but there are few things worse than trying to read tiny text on a phone screen, and having to zoom in or move the screen around just to find what you need. Are we really surprised that so many visitors simply leave those websites?

Luckily, responsive design may just prove the solution to these modern-day challenges.Unlike traditional web design, responsive design is all about fitting the design to suit the user. It enables your website to have different design layouts for desktop, tablet and mobile – then, depending on the platform, orientation and screen size. Depending on what your visitor is using, the website automatically adjusts to suit.This eliminates the need for a new website design each time another new device hits the shelves too. – I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief at that given how often another new iPhone comes out!

Responsive design means no more pinching or zooming – everything is full size and easily viewable on the screen (even the menu is right there at your fingertips without taking up extra space). Not sure what we mean? Try visiting on any of your devices, or try shrinking down the size of your internet browser – just watch what happens!

As if that wasn't incentive enough, there's another factor making responsive design even more timely. As of April this year Google turned the world of SEO on its head again, with their search engine algorithms now putting websites with responsive design higher up their mobile search rankings.

So, even if your website has spectacularly relevant keywords woven throughout, being non-responsive could still put it below your competitors in Google search rankings. And I think we all know what being relegated to page 2 or 3 of Google means for our enquiries – say goodbye to lots of leads!

Combined with fast loading times and a user-friendly website, responsive website design can lead to satisfied users and more leads for you. What's not to like?

Category: Web Design Blog


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