I’ve heard a lot of questions about response to design recently, so I wanted to write a quick article to address those questions. First of all: what is responsive design?
To put it simply, responsive web design is a style or framework of web design intended to provide A great user experience regardless of the device. In other words it does not matter if you are accessing a website from your phone, tablet, or a desktop computer; your experience in each case will be tailored to your device, so that it looks good and so that you can find the information that you’re looking for quickly.
What is the difference between adaptive design and responsive design?
This is where it gets a little bit complicated. In an adaptive design, the developer has implemented multiple fixed width layouts, whereas in a responsive design, they used multiple fluid grid layouts. It’s a subtle difference, but it has a large impact on the results.
What kind of websites should use responsive design?
There’s a great quote by Jeffrey Veen that I’ve included below.
“Day by day, the number of devices, platforms,
and browsers that need to work with your site grows.
Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift
in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.”
– Jeffrey Veen
In other words, everyone should use responsive web design! Whether you’re marketing for small businesses that need to appear up in local Google searches, multinational companies that only want to appear for a very small and targeted set of keywords, an advertising agency trying to get it’s name out there, or anything in between, you want to provided user experience to your users. Longtail Marketing, a company that provides search engine optimization and website development consulting services for local businesses, is a great example. Even though local businesses often times don’t have the budget to rebuild a custom website from scratch, they usually don’t need to. The real benefit is being visible on the Internet, rather than having a slick looking website. You can find them at http://longtail-marketing.com
What are the benefits?
Aside from the benefits to the users themselves and the fact they’ll be able to see your content clearly on any device, there are other tangible benefits as well. Users are more likely to recommend the site that is clear and easy to navigate than one that is not. Many authorities on the web reward websites for having a good user experience and responsive or adaptive design by including them hiring their results were making an easier to share.
The key take away here is that the web is evolving and that all businesses, regardless of their size or Jack two, should evolve with it. Turnkey website builders like Weebly and Square Space make it easier than ever to get a website that looks really good without having to hire an expensive advertising agency or development team. As mentioned above, the real value in having a website in the next 10 years will not be in its design, But rather how easy it is for users to find your web presence, navigate the website, and communicate with your brand. Good luck!