Responsive website design – the future of accessing the web
Welcome to the first of our web design Cornwall blog articles, outlining why a responsive web design is the future of accessing the world wide web.
It is predicted that by 2014, visits to websites using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will overtake those of traditional desktop or laptop devices. According to some sources, there are approximately 4-billlion smartphones in operation throughout the world. This means that there are nearly as many mobile devices as there are humans on the planet.
With many of us owning a number of these devices, which synchronise automatically via the Cloud, it goes without saying that if businesses and organisations want to be accessible to the full range of their customers or users, then they need a responsive website that is compatible with mobile devices.
Gone are the days when the primary focus is whether a website is optimised for viewing across various browsers such as IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari – this is a given. Now the focus is on how a website scales or responds to the screen size of the device viewing it.
If a website does not work well on a device then users are not going to waste time trying to view it. I am sure that there is a plethora of marketing data to support this, however this seems like common sense to me.
The frustrations of resizing by pinching & squeezing
Most smartphone users will be familiar with the concept of resizing a page using pinching and squeezing. Mobile devices will squash an unresponsive website down to its screen size. This results in a website that is almost unreadable without having to pinch and squeeze the touch screen and constantly scroll left-to-right and up-and-down to view anything. Then of course there is the problem of navigating through pages and clicking on tiny links with what feels like large sausage fingers.
Up until recently, in order to be mobile compatible, you needed to have 2-different websites each optimised for different screen sizes i.e. desktop and mobile (usually iPhone). As such the design and content can be different. There are still some web design companies trying to sell these types of websites. However, purchasing such a website will throwing good money after bad.
There are so many different screen sizes with the various styles of smartphone and tablet that to design a website for a particular type of mobile device will in effect exclude potential customers using the other types of device. Not to mention the differences in appearance that can occur between mobile browsers, the 2-most popular being Android and Apple’s Mobile Safari.
Responsive design – the optimal viewing experience
A responsive website is crafted to provide an optimal viewing experience with easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. A responsive website will automatically size to fit the screen of the device that is viewing it without reducing the size of the text. The menu and other navigation features are all optimised to maximise the website’s usability. There is also the added benefit of only having to maintain one set of content.
So, a responsive website will be easier to use with all the architecture and design elements that went into building your website transferring seamlessly to mobile devices. Viewing and reading is simple, navigation is made easier with the functionality being programmed to work effectively with any mobile device. In this way, a mobile-friendly website will be more effective at generating leads and sales for your business or organisation.
In addition, real added bonus is that a responsive website design activates your phone number so that when you click on the number your phone will ask if you would like to call that number. So with just two quick taps on the screen a potential new customer can be calling you.
So don’t miss out on the tremendous opportunities a responsive website can bring, not only now, but certainly in the future. Get in touch with Cornwall’s Button Web Design, we’d love to talk to you about how we can provide a responsive website.