What is Responsive Web Design, you ask? The simplified answer is a website which looks and works properly on a wide range of devices. Devices such as mobile phones, smart phones, tablets and desktop computers. A responsive website is designed and coded so it will sense what size of screen it is being viewed upon. It will then shrink and re-proportion itself if necessary. The purpose of this is to give the user a simplified and easy-to-use experience.
The main intent of your website is to help users find information quickly and easily. Efficiency is key to maintaining your online audience. If your website is 3-4 years old or more, try viewing it on a smart phone or tablet. If you have to do a lot of scrolling, or use pinch-to-zoom in order to navigate your website, this is creating a negative experience for your audience. Once your website loads it should be very clear on first glance what your website is about, what it provides and how to get that information from it.
Keep in mind that it has been a few years since websites were primarily designed for desktop or laptop computers. It is estimated that 195 million tablets will be sold by 2019. Some people are even weighing the idea of ending the use of PC’s for their businesses. Stop and consider that for a moment. The medium for which your website was designed for could quickly become obsolete.
Why is Responsive Web Design Important?
A cold reality is that the typical web user has an incredibly short attention span. If they are looking for something they want it NOW. They don’t want to wait for fancy graphics or short videos to load before they can get to the content which they seek. If your website is not responsive, you could be in danger of being left behind all together by your audience.
Remember that gracefully slick and sliding drop-down navigation menu that was designed for your website a few years ago? Looked great then, didn’t it? Have you tried that same menu on a tablet or smart phone recently? Not good. It can be infuriating to try to navigate that same menu on a smart phone or tablet. Why? Because smart phones and tablets are touch-screen activated. A responsive web design will automatically replace that sliding menu with a menu which will work on touch-screen devices.