The Case for Responsive Design


Published: September 28, 2015 Author: Jason Holicky - Hometown Design Studio Inc.
The Case for Responsive Design

Mobile web users are here to stay, and they are not satisfied with scrolling, scrunching, and resizing the screens of your desktop-optimized website. A separate version of your site that is optimized only for mobile users is one solution, but that means keeping up with two websites all the time. Native apps are another solution, but people are only willing to download and install so many apps on their devices.

This is where responsive design comes in.

What is Responsive Design?

A website developed with responsive design will automatically adjust how it displays depending on the device being used to access it. It does more than simply scale down text and images; responsive design alters the entire layout so that it is truly optimized for the device, not just accessible.

This is a super simple solution for businesses that want to capture the 60 percent of web users who are on mobile devices without using a complicated system of two websites, and without alienating the 40 percent of users on desktops and laptops.

Why Does it Matter?

Maybe you have done your research and discovered that the vast majority of your particular market is accessing your site using a desktop or laptop computer. Why should you put any of your valuable resources toward that small percentage of people who are not?

Because, Google. If you are counting on Google to supply you with website traffic via search, then you have to pay attention to what they define as a “good” website. Whether you call it the “Mobile-Friendly Update” or “Mobilegeddon,” Google has taken a firm stance on websites that are not optimized for mobile users.

Regardless of how your users are accessing your website, Google is giving a clear preference to mobile-friendly sites by boosting their ranking in search results. They are also giving a clear preference to mobile-friendly sites when it comes to advertising, too, so if you are counting on AdSense placements to send you traffic, it’s time to face the facts.

Solving the Problem

If you suspect that your website is not mobile-friendly, head over to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see what they think of it. If you pass, then you do not have anything to worry about. If not, you will be provided with specific reasons why Google does not think your site measures up. Some common examples include text that is too small, pages that take too long to load, content that is wider than the screen, and links that are too close together and therefore difficult to tap on a mobile screen.

You will also be provided with some actionable ways to make corrections to try to make your site more mobile friendly. Keep in mind, though, that it’s not always as easy as making the text bigger or scaling down photos because these changes will also affect desktop users.

Which brings us back to the beginning: the case for responsive design in a nutshell.

About the Author

Creative Director Jason co-founded Hometown Design Studio of New Lenox, IL in 2013. He spends his days guiding and consulting industrial clients and small businesses owners on their marketing strategy and projects. Jason enables everyone to be successful and grow their business by sharing his knowledge and experience.
Responsive design helps you reach every customer no matter how they access the web.

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