Reasons for Responsive Design
Your website doesn’t just sit on a desk anymore. And we believe you would be absolutely mad to commission a website today which doesn’t consider optimisation for a range of devices from the very beginning. We wrote about having a mobile strategy back in September, quoting figures from the first quarter of 2011.
Growth in these markets has been (and still is) huge but for some perspective; since we wrote that article the number of people using the mobile web has more than doubled!
Mobile web browsing now accounts for 10% of all internet usage worldwide. A website we launched two weeks ago for the NHS is seeing over 20% usage via mobile on our last check.
This isn’t just mindless browsing either; there has been a massive rise in retail searches and m-commerce during the last year with over 25% of people in the UK having purchased something using their phone. Luke Wroblewski released further startling figures from the U.S. back in May and is even pondering a mobile majority sooner than first imagined.
Anyway, enough statistics. Believe me there are many more!
How does this change things?
It means a change in thinking and redefining the traditonal notion of browser support, covered in part 1. The market has fragmented with a multitude of devices (phones, tablets, TVs) which are all totally different. We simply can’t offer every user the same ‘desktop’ experience anymore.
Because of this, we build all our websites using a method called Responsive Design.
A responsively designed website is flexible to the conditions in which it will be viewed, in order to offer every user an optimised experience
The primary feature of Responsive Design is reacting to screen size, but it may also consider other variables like resolution, connection speed or device/browser capabilities.
Why Responsive Design?
Here’s why we think it is the right approach and why it brings many benefits to the user and to our clients:
Google recommend it
Yup, the Official Google Webmaster Blog has been recently updated advising the use of Responsive Design for any smartphone-optimised website. It will give you the best chance of performing well in Google’s search engine ranking.
It’s device agnostic
We build in a way that is flexible to screen size, not per device. When a new device comes along or one changes you don’t need to do anything. It’s future-proof and great value for money!
Think of your users
Ensure they can easily interact with your site, find information and complete tasks; even when using a tablet or mobile phone. The amount of people using these type of devices is rising every day.
There’s one website for all
Every user receives a consistent experience with the same functionality and content. We believe this is how the web was intended and that you should never assume a user’s intentions or limit them just because they are on a specific device.
It gives focus
Designing for small screens first allows us to boil down to what’s really important and structure the site and content accordingly, avoiding any unnecessary elements to distract the user from your key calls to action.
Ensure value for money
You only have one website to manage and one set of content. You’re investing in a rapidly growing market and using the latest technologies that look towards the future.
This sounds expensive!
As we are such strong believers that Responsive Design is the correct way to build websites today, we offer it as standard on any project we undertake. The whole process begins at the very beginning of a project and should be integral throughout, not something that can be considered an extra.
After all, phones and tablets have web browsers therefore it’s our job to optimise your site for users on these devices – rather than up-selling it as a ‘nice-to-have’. We know you wouldn’t feel too great about giving a large percentage of your audience a below-par experience!
Mixd have been working this way for while and we feel we have streamlined our process enough to keep the cost of your website very affordable. We will develop your site using the most up to date (and appropriate) front-end technology we know of, meaning you get maximum value for your investment whilst reaching the largest audience.
Take a look at the site we created for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, built using Responsive Design and containing over 1,000 pages. Be sure to resize your browser!