Mobile responsive website design is one of the big buzzwords for business websites of the last few years. Like all good design principles, when it is done well you won’t even notice it’s there – but you’ll definitely notice if it’s missing.
You probably remember the last time you visited a business website that wasn’t responsive. The page appeared all zoomed out, a mini version of how it would appear on a desktop screen. You had to do the annoying “pinch and drag” to zoom in to view content. If there was any video or Flash content, this would not have loaded, and potentially would have caused errors, causing your web browser app to crash. You might have even left the website completely, fed up with the poor usability of a website not optimised for mobile.
A lot of people are accessing the web on their mobile phones these days. Last year 90% of smartphone users browsed the web daily, and mobile browsing accounted for over 15% of total Internet traffic. With mobile download speeds and data packages both increasing, a business without a responsive website is in danger of being left behind in favor of those that are easily accessible on the go.
There are also reports that if you are conducting a search on your phone, Google will rank mobile-friendly websites higher in search results, meaning that a responsive website can be good for search engine optimisation.
A mobile responsive website is different from a simple mobile site. With a mobile site, you are effectively maintaining two separate websites – the desktop version, and the version to which phones are redirected when they access your web address. This might seem like a simple solution, but maintaining two different websites and updating content on both on an ongoing basis can become very time-consuming.
A responsive website is a much more practical option. Special coding means that your layout and content will “respond” dynamically to whatever screen size your visitor is using. Paragraphs and images resize automatically to the screen width, the text is large enough to be legible, and navigation is made much more simple using a dropdown or “burger” menu. Content changes will appear on both desktop and mobile, as they are simply the same website that has fluidly adapted to the device.
Most importantly, your potential clients enjoy an easy and seamless browsing experience, navigating your intuitive interface to get the information they want.