Web Design

What is Responsive Website Design?

Nowadays there are millions of websites available to the public, but only the best companies have adapted to the new reality of mobile device internet browsing.

Responsive Web Design: Bringing Your Company to the Top

The next time you find yourself on the subway or sitting in a cafe, take a look around you. What is it that you see? What does almost everyone you look at have in common? Chances are, almost all of them will have their eyes glued to their phones, browsing the web and interacting with others on social media. Whether or not you find this realization to be depressing or impressive, there is no denying the ever-growing dependence our society has on its mobile devices. The sooner we accept such facts, the sooner we can begin to spin them to our advantage.

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Adaptive web design, also referred to as responsive website design, is a technique whereby the best developers code a website so that no matter the device from which it is being accessed, the User Experience remains completely intact. In other words, the website will appear just as elegantly on a smartphone or tablet as it will on a desktop or laptop computer. Think of it like a “rubber layout” or a “fluid grid” of your company’s website. The website designer assigns the proportions and dimensions of the various elements of your site to a certain percentage. These specific percentages are applied to all aspects of the site, including images, columns, and even text boxes. Because of the predetermined percentile values embedded into the code, the layout of the responsive website will automatically adjust to fit the length and width of the screen on the device one accesses it with. For example, if your website, when viewed on a desktop computer, originally had three columns of text on the main page, chances are there will only be one or two columns on the same page when viewed with a smartphone, because of the reduction in screen size. All the content is still available, but the layout has adapted to what is most convenient and appealing to the user. By equipping your business with a custom responsive web page, you will appear professional and modern, increasing customer conversion.

The Era of the Smartphone

To avoid offering the obvious “all of them” response, let’s break down the logic of User Experience and responsive website design. Adaptive web pages, as previously stated, are often accessed through mobile devices, implying that the user is browsing on-the-go. If your business is one that offers relevant information to your visitors who may need it at times where they are not sitting in front of a computer at home or at the office, then it is clear that you would benefit from a responsive site. Restaurants are prime real estate for this solution too. Restaurants with mobile-ready websites receive 80% more customers than do their non-adaptive counterparts. Similarly, any ecommerce website is only doing itself a disservice by not hiring a responsive web designer. This past Black Friday, almost 60% of online purchases were made using mobile devices. The versatility and convenience of mobile websites is simply undeniable.

Business-to-business services find themselves more resistant to the new mobile web-browsing world of today, but these companies are still adapting (pun intended) nonetheless. Last year, there was a 30-40% increase in the amount of companies in this industry who incorporated a mobile design strategy into their online presence, and this number continues to grow. On the opposite end of the spectrum with the most mobile internet browsing is incontestably social media. Nearly 100% of Facebook’s users browse from mobile devices, an unsurprising, yet very important figure.

The Benefits of Having Responsive Website Design

Did you spend money on a professional website just so only you and your employees could see it? We sure hope not. The more people you have visiting your site, the more visibility your company receives. This translates to more profits. It doesn’t matter if you are in Philadelphia or Tokyo, responsiveness increases the amount of outlets from which your potential customers can be exposed to your brand. You can now reach them on desktops, laptops, smartphones, game consoles, TVs, tablets, etc.

Not only are you taking advantage of the many different avenues by which your website can be exposed, but you are also intelligently decreasing your dependence on desktop viewership, an outlet that is used less and less each day. Take a look for yourself:

Average daily internet usage by device 2010-2015

Having a website that adapts to any screen is both affordable and convenient. Your business only stands to benefit from this investment. Plus, as previously mentioned, Google is constantly on the hunt for professional responsive websites so that it can promote them to the top of its search results while it simultaneously seeks to limit the potential of the non-responsive ones.

How Customers Interact With Their Smartphones When Making Purchases

To take advantage of the world of smartphones, it is important to understand the underlying tendencies of the people using them. In June 2017, Google published an interesting article detailing how consumers use their smart devices when making purchases, and the results are quite fascinating. The key finding of this research may seem almost intuitive at this point, but it is important to think about just how much technological advancement has changed our consumption patterns. Before the onset of modern technology and the “internet of things,” consumers would see something they wanted to buy, and then later go to the store to purchase it. Now these two things happen simultaneously. The purchasing process is now swift and immediate.

What’s more is that the behavioral patterns of purchasing have also changed. People are now more likely to search online for reviews and other forms of validation in order to ensure that the purchase they are making is an intelligent and informed one. They want to confirm that the product or service they are buying is of good quality at a good price. We have said it before and we will say it again: it is absolutely necessary to monitor your customers and learn about how they came to your product or service. It is vitally important to understand the underlying trends of how your company is generating business so that you can capitalize and build upon it.

Aside from just paying attention to what your customers are doing in terms of purchasing patterns, you should also take note of what the population as a whole is doing. This study found that 44% of all online purchases are made from smartphones! It is thus vitally important for your site to be responsive. A fitting quote: “It’s less important for a shopper to be present in the store than it is for the store to be present.”.

Does My Company Website Have Responsive Web Design Capabilities?

Though the two almost always go hand-in-hand, your website could potentially have adaptive capabilities without being fit for mobile phone use. The essence of adaptiveness is the website’s ability to automatically adjust to the screen size of the device on which it is being used. Take a look:

Example of a responsive website

If you are curious as to whether or not your business or firm has a responsive website, simply follow this link: testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com. With it, you can copy and paste your URL into the designated spot and Google will help you understand where your website excels, where it lacks, and even offer you a few suggestions and solutions.

Check the web site for responsiveness, img 1Check the web site for responsiveness, img 2Check the web site for responsiveness, img 3Check the web site for responsiveness, img 4Check the web site for responsiveness, img 5

Let’s Sum it Up

If you are still asking yourself whether or not you need an adaptive website, please reread this article. Responsive website design is an absolute must for any company or business who wishes to increase the amount of profits they earn from their online presence.

In our Philadelphia studio, we at Direct Line Development create custom online solutions for our customers, and almost all of them include adaptive websites in the package. As experts in this field, we are an agency that develops websites that load quickly and work properly on all devices, and we do it with affordable pricing and comprehensive customer service.

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to one of our representatives.

The article was updated on August 10, 2017.

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