It’s a term that is thrown around a lot by web designers but what is it and why do you need it?
In my spare time I play the piano and in this new digital age I left behind the screeds of paper that used to litter the floor in an untidy mess and moved on to digital scores. It’s great. I’m able to have the largest collection of music without all the physical space it takes up, not to mention never accidentally losing a page.
Most of the time i’ll set my laptop up on top of the piano and open up whatever I want to play. This particular day I was feeling lazy, i’d already sat down at the piano, my laptop was in the other room, it wasn’t turned on and I didn’t want to move the two meters to get it. That’s the great thing about handheld devices, mine is always on me, so I pulled it out to give myself a quick reminder of what I wanted to play. It’s happened to everyone who has any form of smart device, the moment you get to the web page you want and everything is tiny, so tiny I don’t think even getting my grandmothers sewing magnifying glass out would have helped.
Then the struggle begins placing both thumbs on the screen trying and desperately failing to zoom into the one section you want. You’re so close, almost at that perfect level of zoom when you move unexpectedly. Tapping the screen as you do so and all the hard work you were doing is gone, and you’ve loaded some obscure advert that was sitting at the side of the page.
Needless to say I gave up, the hassle of finding what I wanted on such a small screen with such an unresponsive website was frustrating to say the least. So I shut the Piano lid, threw my device on the couch and wished for the days of that untidy sheet music pile on my floor.
Responsive web design it’s about eliminating that frustration when you can’t access a website from whatever device you’re on, wherever you are.
How a Responsive website makes your life easier.
A responsive design will produce the best viewing experience for your device with a minimum of pinching, zooming or horizontal scrolling. Meaning you can read the content uninhibited whether that be on your phone, tablet or desktop. In Short the website responds according to the device you are using.
Why is Responsive Web Design Important?
According to the comscore U.S. Mobile App Reports mobile and tablet digital media engagement overtook the desktop in 2014.
One of the design practises we try to adhere to is to always design for the user. This can be in relation to the layout, user interface or optimising the content toward the user. What has happened in the last 5 years is more and more people are looking to their mobile phones and tablets to look up information on the web therefore designing content to be easy to read and navigate on a mobile phone should increase your interactions with these users or at least making the experience more pleasurable.
Having a responsive website means you will be able to capture more users positioning yourself to more influence your audiences.
Is there more work involved in having a Responsive Website?
During the design process, yes, there is a lot more work due to the fact that typically we are designing three layouts (Mobile, Tablet & Desktop). Once the design has been built the website maintenance would be the same of a typical website. Generally the same content is displayed onto the different devices, one content stream for various users and devices.
What about you? Do you have a Responsive website, how is it working for you? Do you have any questions about responsive websites? Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or would like to enquire about a responsive website.