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Responsive Web Design: What Is It? Do I Need It?

mobile devicesMore and more mobile devices are emerging in the marketplace, and they’re getting increasingly popular, long having overtaken desktops and laptops in sales.

As of April last year, more webpages are viewed on mobile devices than desktops and laptops.

You want your visitors to have the best possible experience on your website.  But you can’t control whether they are viewing it on a small Blackberry screen or a 27″ monitor.  How can you make sure they are able to read your site clearly and navigate around it effortlessly and intuitively, so they experience delight rather than frustration? The answer is “responsive design.”

Responsive websites “respond” to the size of the screen, and re-organize themselves automatically, so that the same website provides a great experience everywhere.

On a smartphone, your visitor doesn’t have to “pinch and zoom” to read the page, and the flow of content is more appropriate for a smaller screen.

Responsive design adapts to the size of the screen.

Responsive web design is a way of making a single website that works effectively on desktop browsers AND the over 100 different types of mobile devices on the market.

  • Different Screen Sizes: The website automatically adjusts according to the device’s screen size and orientation. Large or small – landscape or portrait; responsive sites switch between these on-the-fly.
  • Adaptive Layouts: The layout of a responsive website can change to accommodate the device viewing it.  On a desktop a large menu bar is easy to read and use, but on a smartphone that same menu shrinks to a dropdown menu, simplifying the layout for the smaller screen.
  • Search Engine Friendly: The structure of a responsive website also makes it easy for search engines to read. Google recommends responsive design for both search ranking and to give your users the best experience possible.

Below is an example of responsive design, using our own website.  On a laptop, the content fills the screen:

laptop

 

On a smartphone, we don’t try to scrunch the exact same content into the same space, making it so small that the only way to see it is to zoom up and then scroll.  The header adjusts, and the content shifts.  The site responds to the size of the screen so you can still read everything easily.

 

Responsive design on Galaxy Note 3

 

Responsive Web Design: Do I need it?

Yes.  It is not a question of “if,” it is a question on “when.”

If you would like to explore how you might make your site responsive, please give us a call at 412-563-0976 or email pauline@picondesign.com.

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