What makes a website design truly useful and attractive to potential customers? There is a wide array of approaches that web designers use today, but one of the most common techniques is called “responsive web design.” If you haven’t heard of responsive web design, you’re probably not alone, but if you’ve spent any time on the Web, you’ve encountered some form of responsive web design.
Responsive web design tries to provide an optimal user experience, regardless of what device the visitor users to view the website. Responsive web design incorporates easy navigation and easy reading techniques, while trying to avoid making the user resize anything, or scroll up, down or across the page in order to view information. In other words, the responsive web design attempts to present as much information as possible without asking the viewer to adjust his or her display.
Responsive web design uses a “fluid grid” which sizes page objects proportionally in relation to the page size rather than in discrete pixel or point measurements. Designers use flexible images instead of pictures to prevent pictures from displaying incorrectly on the page. Responsive web design also makes use of browser inquiries, cascaded style sheets and server-side components that direct browsers to display page information based on the type of device the visitor is using.
If you’re designing a website for the first time, it makes sense to incorporate responsive web design techniques into your design. In the long term, you’ll save design time and money by making your website as flexible as possible. Consumers are moving more toward using mobile devices to access the Web, but you want to ensure that your website remains equally responsive to desktop visitors and mobile visitors alike. Since mobile users have very different viewing requirements, web site operators must either consider having two different sites designed exclusively for mobile visitors and desktop visitors, or they must consider incorporating responsive website design on a single site to address the spectrum of visitors’ needs.
If you’re not certain whether responsive website design is a good investment, compare the number of mobile visitors your website attracts to the number of desktop users your site attracts. If you see a significant number of visitors using mobile browsers, or detect a growing number of mobile users visiting your site, you may want to consider redesigning your website to incorporate the techniques of responsive website design.
Incorporating responsive website design is something that can happen over a long period of time, or it can be instituted sitewide as part of a major redesign plan. If you’d like to investigate whether responsive web design is right for your website, please contact our creative director, Dave Ramsell for a consultation about responsive website design techniques and how they can advance your business.
Photo Credit: Rain Rannu, via Flickr