Responsive web design, help or hype?

As more and more devices have the ability to use the internet, changes have had to be made to make sure that websites can be viewed easily on all the different devices. Not doing so can be a real headache for website owners who could see their traffic reduce drastically. The buzzword at the moment is ‘responsive web design’ and what this means is that the site has been adapted to enable visitors to view it from a number of devices including PCs, smartphones and tablets. With so many people now using mobile devices to access the internet, any ecommerce business that has not had their website adapted to enable visitors to access it from mobiles is going to miss out on a substantial amount of business. So, what is all this responsive web design and why should you take notice?

People are increasingly using mobile devices like tablets and smartphones to browse the Web. The variety of screen sizes, resolutions, and platforms people use to access webpages has given birth to a new movement in website design called responsive Web design. Using responsive Web design, developers create one single site to function properly across all devices instead of producing multiple dedicated site designs to work with particular screen sizes and platforms.

While responsive Web design can be a great way for developers to ensure that their site is compatible with all devices, implementing it instead of targeted Web designs (i.e. a page designed for the iPad) also comes with certain drawbacks. Here is an overview of the changing climate of Web devices, followed by tips for evaluating whether or not you should implement a responsive design.


Mobile Screens Are Taking Over

In 2010, the average number of ¬†uniquescreen resolutions was 97; three years later that number has rapidly increased to 232. The huge variety of screen resolutions today means it’s becoming even more difficult for developers to ensure the functionality of websites across devices. And while phone apps are certainly popular, people are using their smartphones and tablets more and more to access the Web; in fact, 28% of Americans access the Web more often on their smartphones than on their desktop computers. Since a whopping 91% of people in the U.S. keep a mobile device within reach 24/7, it’s likely that mobile Web browsing will increase. This increase in mobile Web browsing means designers must create mobile-friendly websites or risk losing customers.

Further information

Strategies: is responsive web design the wave of the future?


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