It’s hard to believe that just a few years stand between now and a time when we didn’t have the world at our fingertips. Smartphones and tablet devices have changed the face of technology, retail, hospitality and dining – and their popularity is only set to increase as more advanced models quickly overtake their predecessors.
A few years ago, we started talking about how important being responsive is. Yet even now in a digital age of buying and selling, we see so many companies who aren’t keeping up. So what is responsive web design, and why is it more important than it ever has been before?
What is responsive web design?
Responsive web design is a term that refers to websites built to be viewed and navigated across a range of devices. They work well on desktops, but shrink intelligently so that they can be easily enjoyed on a smartphone or tablet, too. Whilst it may sound simple (surely a smaller version of the site is displayed?) it requires a complex approach, ensuring that each and every possible platform is covered by a dedicated design and platform that supports its interface and size. The site detects the device it is being viewed from, and adapts accordingly.
Why do users prefer responsive web design?
Convenience is the short answer to this question. We discuss user experience a lot with our clients – because it matters greatly, and is an important factor of the impression they receive of your business, and therefore the engagement your site experiences. Providing a great user experience not only secures an immediate sale or booking – it paves the way for future sales and interaction. A positive user experience involves a smooth, seamless exploration of a site. All the information potential customers require is easily available. Graphics, content and images are attractive and persuasive. The transaction itself is simple and quick. Non-responsive sites often have to be pinched and manipulated in order to click on tiny links and partially concealed menus. Images don’t display correctly, or at all. Text is unreadable. All these factors make for a largely negative user experience – one they are likely not to stick with for long, or want to repeat.
What can I expect if I don’t go responsive?
Over 65% of users now view sites on their smartphone as opposed to a desktop or laptop. Non-mobile responsive sites have been showing a decline in interest and engagement compared with their adaptable counterparts for a couple of years now – and this is set to accelerate as users expect to be able to navigate the sites they visit quickly and easily. Smartphones have made us impatient and fickle – so what do we do when we find a site hard to view or explore? We go elsewhere. If you fail to adapt your site and go responsive, it’s highly likely that you’ll lose out on business to a competitor who has.
Is it difficult to build or adapt a responsive website?
If your site isn’t yet responsive, it will usually need to be built again from scratch. In some instances, sites can be adapted or rearranged in order to make them responsive. It’s best to enlist the help of professionals who can assess your current situation and devise a bespoke solution based on your requirements. Now is also a great time to reassess your branding and content too, as you can then coincide the re-launch of your site with a fresh new look and feel.
Need responsive web design for your Stockport business? Our experienced team are on hand to make it happen. Get in touch to discuss your requirements today.