As the market has fragmented, web designers have often settled on responsive web design as the solution to the challenges posed by all of these platforms.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design combines media queries (which determine the size of the browser) with proportional rather than absolute sizes for the text columns, images, and other page elements on a website.
A responsive website design helps to give users a consistent experience on your site. They’ll be able to find information in the same place, regardless of what device they’re using. Tablet and mobile users will get the full experience of your site, and your brand will be identical across all devices. Also, your webpages will all be on a single domain (www.yoursite.com instead of m.yoursite.com, for example), which is beneficial for SEO.
As new devices like smart watches and televisions continue to be introduced, responsive designs will help smooth the transition. It is hard to know which will fade and which will stick around for the long haul, and (in the case of smart watches) web designers are still debating how to best display information. In time, you might want to include features on your site that work well for particular devices. Until then, a responsive design will put your best foot forward.
Designing Your Site
Designing your website to be responsive isn’t a replacement for a proper mobile version of your site. For one thing, it’s often a larger task to design (or re-design) your entire site so that it works and displays well across all platforms than it is to design separate desktop and mobile versions. In addition to that, you might very well prefer to send mobile users to a distinct site. For example, a restaurant might want a mobile version that more prominently displays its location and directions.
There is another big reason to make a mobile version of your site in addition to making it more responsive: loading time. Mobile devices generally load pages more slowly than desktops, and slow load times will frustrate customers. An Aberdeen Group study shows that a 1 second delay leads to a 7% decline in conversions, 11% fewer page views, and a 16% decline in customer satisfaction. Overall, 74% of users will abandon your site if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load. So if your site has enough elements to cause it to load slowly, you’ll definitely want a streamlined mobile version.
Whether your business needs a responsive web design, a mobile version of your site, or both, BSG can help you out. We have the programmers and designers to build a clean, new site that emphasizes smooth transitions and ease of use. Blue Sand Group can also apply these principles to optimize your existing site. BSG can build a mobile version of your site, and we can help you determine if an app is the right fit for your business.