The holidays are quickly approaching, and with Christmas traditionally being the biggest day of the year for new smart-device activations, your clients will soon be visiting your site on their shiny new smartphone or tablet.
Mobile usage now accounts for more than half of all web visits, and this rate will only increase in the coming years. According to Google’s Think Insights, if a user lands on your mobile site and is frustrated, there is a 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another site (maybe even a competitor). But on a flip side, a positive experience on a mobile device will mean your user is more likely to buy your product or service.
This is why responsive design is not only great for your clients, but it can directly affect your business’ success in positive ways when done right. Responsive design is useful because it requires you to only have one website that is coded to adapt to all different screen sizes. The biggest benefit is the design will scale based on the screen size and not the device, so it will always display properly no matter the device. For example, a wide screen display can receive a site design with multiple columns of content, while a small screen can have that same content presented in a single column with text and links appropriately sized to be read and used on that smaller display.
Responsive design is also a step up from the once-popular option of having both a desktop site design and a mobile site design. Responsive is a complete upgrade in this case because it will be adaptable to new screen sizes – a huge plus for your business when new devices in widely different sizes are coming out every single year. The beauty of responsive compared to mobile-only designs is that it only requires one website to be maintained and updated, instead of multiple site templates – ultimately making your own interactions with the site more streamlined as well.
Not only is your site being visited by different people owning different devices and screen sizes, but many times, the customer is returning to the same site at different times, using their own different devices. That means, in order to provide your users with the best possible experience, your site must work well regardless of their device, and that same content must be presented across all devices. The consistency in information creates an enjoyable user experience for your customers and keeps them coming back again and again.
As an added bonus, Google prefers responsive sites and ranks them higher. In 2015, Google began rewarding sites that were built responsively for multi-device support. Google’s ‘mobile friendly’ update earlier this year meant that non-mobile friendly sites were penalised for not being mobile friendly.
One of the best things about responsive design is that this approach gives you an edge above everyone else because your site will support newer devices and screens in the future. This means that as new devices hit the market with screen sizes unlike what we’ve seen before, your responsive website will already be prepared to meet those new devices with a design and experience best suited to whatever screen sizes they throw at us, especially by next Christmas.