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Responsive Design

Responsive Web Design – Why It’s Important

A few weeks ago we addressed the question – Does Your Business Need a Mobile Website (part 1 and part 2).  We discussed, the pros and cons of a mobile site and how many businesses would benefit from a dedicated mobile website.

Today, we’re going to look at the growing trend of designing responsive websites and how your business can benefit.  Responsive website design refers to creating a website that adapts to the user’s device/resolution – essentially the website automatically resizes the content and becomes optimized for the user’s experience.  In the past, users would have to do endless scrolling – left, right, down, up (sounds like the beginning of a Contra cheat code); this ended in a very frustrating user experience.


Why It’s Important:

In 2012 we’ve seen a large shift in consumer buying habits. For the first time since 2001, PC sales are projected to be lower than they were in the previous year.

So which devices are consumers buying?

Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year.

Tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million this year. Their sales numbers may top notebooks next year. Smartphones, of course, are also a hot commodity — according to Nielsen, the majority of U.S. mobile subscribers now own smartphones.

Meanwhile, the shift to mobile is happening at an extraordinary speed. Today, 15% of Risen Creative’s traffic is mobile. By the end of next year, this may exceed 25%.

With the above said, it is very important for your business to be accessible to users.


So How is This Different Than a Mobile Site:

If you access Risen Creative’s website from your PC and then access it from your tablet, you will see how the site resizes. The content doesn’t change – only the layout. With a mobile website, it’s designed to simplify the user’s experience. For lack of better terms, the “fluff” is removed and what you have left is the essential functions of the website.

Example of a full website we developed:
www.hmcweightlosscenter.com

Example of a mobile website we developed:
m.hmcweightlosscenter.com


Do I Need Both?

It depends… If your business is in an industry that a large percentage of your customers use their smartphones to access your site and they would benefit from a simplified interface to discover your products/services – it is worth the investment in a mobile site. A great example of this is a restaurant. A typical restaurant’s website would include numerous pages that aren’t necessary for someone accessing the site from a mobile device. Chances are, the user accessing the website is looking for the restaurant’s location/address, phone number and a menu. The key is to make it easy for your customer to find the information they’re looking for.


Conclusion:

It is difficult to draw a line in the sand, to decide if your site should have a responsive design. However, if you’re seeing >10% of your website traffic from tablets/smartphones, you should strongly consider redesigning your website to be responsive. If you would like to find out how Risen Creative can update your website to be responsive – please contact us today!


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