What is Responsive Web Design?
26th Mar 2014

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive DesignResponsive design helps websites to work well on all mobile devices.

The official web definition:

"A website that responds to the device that accesses it and delivers the appropriate output for it uses responsive design. Rather than designing multiple sites for different-sized devices, this approach designs one site but specifies how it should appear on varied devices."

What does it mean for me?

A fully Responsive Web design will “respond” or resize itself depending on the type of device it is being seen through.  That could be an oversized desktop computer monitor, a laptop, a 10-inch tablet, a 7-inch tablet, or a 4-inch smartphone screen.

So instead of building a website to cater for a particular device such as an iPhone 5, your website will respond to its environment whether that device is a iPhone 5 or a smaller iPhone 4 or a Nokia, Android, iPad, tablet etc.

That’s an obvious cost advantage for you NOT requiring multiple websites to be built and hosted. But it also means you don’t need to manage and update separate sites trying to keep the content consistent.

What does it mean for my customers?

Simply put, a customer’s experience remains consistent across whatever device they choose to view your website from, i.e. desktop whilst at work, mobile whilst on the move or laptop/tablet at home.

Most ‘mobile only’ sites have reduced content, typically some product info, company information and a call to action. However their ‘experience’ and content is limited and not consistent.

If your website is ‘desktop only’ and not friendly to mobiles and tablets, your customers will be pinching and zooming every page and missing content due to a horizontal scroll. When it comes Ecommerce sites they are more than likely to put your site into the “too hard" basket, rather than their actual online basket.

Why do you need responsive design?

With the advance of tablets and smartphones, mobile traffic is increasing incredibly fast. In fact, sales of smartphones are now greater than PCs, whilst tablet users have tripled year-on-year, taking the total to 30% of the UK population so far.

2013 saw mobile and tablet pc usage double, details within this report.

Growth of tablet and smartphone usage

Traditionally, there wasn’t much choice about how to view a website. PCs and laptops used standard-sized monitors with few variations, all rendering the appearance of a website in much the same way.

HD wide, tiny low res, landscape, portrait - designers can’t rely on one unique layout solution anymore because many websites don’t work well when viewed on mobile devices. This can be very frustrating for visitors and that could be reducing your sales or enquiries.

More than a simple design trend, responsive design is a set of modern tools and techniques aiming to rearrange the way information is displayed, depending on the device capacities.

Kontrolit’s responsive design websites look good and work well for visitors, no matter what device they are viewed on.

Quick-fire facts

  • 40% 51% (update June 2015) of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices
  • With 67% of shoppers more likely to buy from a website that is compatible with mobile devices
  • 29% of tablet owners make a purchase on their device every month
  • 69% of UK consumers now access the internet through multiple devices, rising to 86% amongst 25-34 year olds
  • over 50% of all 'local' searches are performed on mobile devices

An Elegant Solution

The content of multiple sites, that has already been discussed, becomes a resource-intensive task which is hard to maintain and edit. We also find it can also throw up issues of duplicated content, which has major SEO implications.

With a Kontrolit website built around responsive design, you have one website which works well on any device; one site to maintain, less time spent managing it and no SEO problems.

Our web analytics package will tell you how many of your visitors are using mobile devices, so you can keep track of trends and adapt your content accordingly.

How to test responsive

Mobile Testing

You can test websites for their responsive behaviour manually, by pulling the corner of the browser down to resize, observing how the content adapts within its new boundaries. Or you can view responsive aspects across a wider range of pre-set devices by pasting the URL into the following website and choosing a device: http://mobiletest.me/.

View a few of the responsive websites we've designed in our showcase, or contact us for more information.

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