Part of my suite of services includes website strategy, in which I typically develop the strategy around content in partnership with one of my excellent website design vendors who handles design. In several client meetings recently we have a spent significant amount of time on the subject of ‘responsive design,’ with my website partners advocating strongly for clients to incorporate it into their new website strategy.
Responsive design is a fairly new concept, arising from the rapidly increasing use of smartphones and tablets. According to Mashable.com’s Peter Cashmore, “Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year. Their sales numbers may top notebooks next year. Smartphones, of course, are also a hot commodity — according to Nielsen, the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones, not feature phones. Meanwhile, the shift to mobile is happening at an extraordinary speed. Today, 30% of Mashable’s traffic is mobile. By the end of next year, this may exceed 50%.”
Responsive design, Cashmore goes on to say, is the solution to ensuring your website looks great and works well no matter the viewing medium – PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet. “In simple terms, a responsive web design uses “media queries” to figure out what resolution of device it’s being served on. Flexible images and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen.”
Is it important? Annie Pilon of SmallBizTrends.com says just consider your Google Analytic stats: check your traffic and you might just be shocked at how many visitors are getting to your website through mobile devices. (In your Google Analytics, select “Audience” on the left side, then “Mobile” to see what proportion of traffic is from mobile devices. You can even drill down to see which devices are sending the traffic.) And consider how patient you yourself are when surfing the web on your phone or iPad… do you return to a site that is a shell of its PC version and doesn’t provide the information you’re seeking in a way you can easily navigate? ‘Nuf said.
Check out my Brain Trust Resources below for more on one of the hottest marketing trends today, and decide whether you can afford not to either revamp or rebuild your site with responsive design. And of course, should you need help, let me know.
Inside Responsive Design: The Pros And Cons Of The Popular Mobile Strategy (BusinessInsider.com)
These days, responsive design is recommended as the gold standard. But as with most technologies in a multi-device world, it has disadvantages, and it’s not right for every business, or every application. In a new report from BI Intelligence, we describe what responsive design is and compare it to other mobile optimization tools, analyze responsive designs pros and cons, examine data and statistics that track responsive design adoption and performance across mobile, and evaluate whether dedicated mobile websites have their place, and detail the ramifications for HTML5 development.
Responsive Design Newsletter (Responsive Design Weekly)
A free, once–weekly round-up of responsive design articles, tools, tips, tutorials and inspirational links. We spend hours curating the best content, interview industry leaders and send it to you every Friday. For Free.
Matt Cutts Talks Responsive Design Impact On SEO (Webpronews.com)
Google has put out a new Wembaster Help video. In this one, Matt Cutts discusses responsive design and its impact (or lack thereof) on SEO.
Why responsive website design matters (Techradar.com)
Think about how your business’ customers interact with your website. Now open your website on a smartphone or tablet. Is the same experience possible on all devices? A poor mobile experience can be disastrous for small enterprises attempting to build their digital businesses. What has become clear is that businesses must redesign their online presence to take mobile device access into consideration. This is where responsive design comes in very handy indeed.