Responsive Design is Essential for Business Success
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your small business success is to make sure your website is responsive and will easily translate to any viewable device. Responsive web design (RWD) is an approach aimed at crafting sites that provide an optimal viewing experience.
As little as 10 years ago there were basically two devices used by consumers to view websites: desktop computers and laptop computers. As a result, websites were built to fixed layouts for standard computer monitor screens. As designers, we could simply focus on testing website layouts on our own computers with relative certainty that our target demographic would be doing the same.
Then, two things happened:
1.) Consumers began relying more heavily on the internet to get information, products, and services, causing businesses to increase their web presence on their own sites by adding what consumers were seeking.
2.) Companies discovered consumers wanted access to information, products, and services on the web 24/7, so they quickly rolled out a variety of products which made the computer portable and accessible from anywhere and at anytime. Tablets and cell phones opened the door to portable and powerful devices that are compact and can be carried anywhere. Cell phone companies used their cell networks to provide data access, removing the need to be connected to a wireless network. Information was quickly becoming instant, portable, and accessible.
These devices are essentially tiny computers that can be carried around in purses, briefcases, or even pockets. Today’s latest smartphones are actually more powerful than computers and have faster and more powerful processors than ones sold just a few years ago.
The sudden explosion of these devices on the market caused a unique design challenge for website designers. Now, we had a multitude of devices with varying screen sizes: 3.5 in., 4 in., 5 in.s, 8 in., 10 in., all the way up to 27 in. for large widescreen computer monitors. Fixed website layouts quickly became obsolete as companies and website designers adjusted layouts to be flexible for all devices.
Consumers were quickly becoming reliant on their portable devices for information and purchasing, which meant any business that wanted to meet the needs of potential and current clients must have website layouts with the capability of responding to any device.
As a result, responsive web design was born. Instead of developers building multiple versions of websites, we use varying width properties to style elements that are flexible to the consumer’s device, regardless of what device is being used.
Accessibility equals more traffic, higher conversion rates, and increased profits. If your website design is not responsive, your business is losing potential clients and guaranteed sales. Why? Because with accessibility comes convenience and instant gratification. Consumers today value both. They search and buy products and services quickly, directly from their smartphones or tablets. Most likely, today’s consumer will not wait until they get home and turn on their computers – that’s inconvenient and takes too long. In fact, computer sales are at one of the lowest points efforts and some experts are predicting that computers themselves might one day soon become obsolete, in favor of tablets or cell phones.
For your small businesses to thrive on the worldwide web (a place saturated with thousands of sites and possibly offering similar information and services as your own), you must take advantage of responsive web design to ensure your site is optimally viewed from anywhere and at any time.
Until next time,