Globally, the use of mobile phones, smartphones, iPads and tablets for surfing the internet is increasing at an alarming rate because of its convenience, cost-efficiency, ease and comfort. The use of mobile devices is closing the digital divide between the rich and poor; and the urban and rural dwellers. All businesses are duty-bound to develop websites that are mobile-friendly in order to reach these mobile users. One way of doing so is to create designs that are responsive to different devices and screen sizes.
What then is responsive web design?
Responsive web design (RWD) is a technique used in web design to allow webpages respond to the screen size, orientation and platform of the device a user is viewing with.
Responsive design are the simple most important factor that has changed the browsing behavior of browsers in recent times. Such websites are capable of changing from device to device. For example, if a user switches from a mobile phone to a tablet device, the website automatically adapts and dynamically fits the size of the screen.
Without delving much into the technicalities involved in designing such websites, the following are the business benefits of responsive design.
User-friendly: Responsive websites are highly liquid and fluid that make contents change across all screen resolutions and devices. It has foreground images that scale with the layout to reveal and hide parts of images on the website. This fluidity makes it user-friendly, accessible and exquisite when compared to conventional websites. Users are able to surf your website regardless of the environment they find themselves, hence increasing the reach of your business website.
Consolidate business marketing efforts: Google has recommended responsive design as best practice so businesses that do not have them are missing out. Being the most popular global search engine, Google explained that responsive websites are easy to crawl and perform favourably in search results.
According to Moz, a well-respected search company in their 2015 Search Engine Ranking Factors, 150 marketing professionals specializing in SEO were surveyed and the results was that responsive or mobile-optimized websites have better ranking success than unresponsive websites. The responsive or mobile factor was on only second to content uniqueness in the Ranking Factors report.
Given this knowledge, we can safely say for sure that having a responsive website will help augment marketing efforts of organizations to achieve their business objectives.
Cost effective: Using desktop or laptops is usually more expensive and/or inconvenient than using mobile devices. Mobile devices offer quick and easy access to information on the move. Responsive websites are therefore cost effective for users who spend little to no time in an office space.
For businesses, the responsive web design reduces design and development costs because they do not have to develop different websites for different devices. Additionally, businesses will save money on maintenance costs as they will be focusing on only one website.
In conclusion, this unique and adept development in web design is achieved using flexible grids, layouts, images and CSS media. In doing so, website designers take into account a number of factors, which includes the pixel resolutions, screen size and click/touch features of various devices.