Smartphones and tablets are the main culprits behind the changed approach towards design and user experience. Before the proliferation of these devices, web designers only had to concentrate to keep the look and feel of the websites same, in various desktop computer browsers.
Now an individual browses the same site on desktop, laptop, tablet and most of all on smartphone screens. The problem is that interacting with websites on smartphones and tablets is way different than interacting on desktop computer monitors. Several factors like Pixel-resolution, click versus touch, screen-size etc. are different in smartphones and desktop monitors. If designers focus on building mobile websites that are text-heavy versions of the main site then they often have to remove the design characteristics. These characteristics actually make the site uniquely branded and removing them is not the right solution. Again the laptop and desktop screens are generally wider than 1024 pixel, whereas sites are built at 960 pixels keeping in mind the small screens of mobiles
What Is Responsive Web Design (RWD)?
Responsive web design is a way of building a website that responds to the size of the browser. The layout and coding of the website are done in a way that navigation elements, images, text, audio/video players, screen layouts and other UI elements re-adjust themselves on a variety of devices. Thus, the need for creating and maintaining different versions of the website for mobiles and desktop is eliminated.
Why Is Responsive Design So Crucial for Websites?
The following reasons will make you realise how important responsive designing is for the website.
- Supporting the Multi-Device User: In today’s world, the same user returns to the same site at different times using these different devices. It increases the need for a site to provide the best experience to the user irrespective of what device he is using to access it. If a customer is using a specific feature on one device and when he comes back later through some other device and cannot find that feature then there is a high probability of losing that customer to the competitors. RWD helps in retaining the customers and does give them a reason to abandon the site halfway.
- Time and Money: The building of responsive website is slightly expensive than conventional ones. Taking into consideration that you go for different websites for different devices, RWD is much more economical and simpler process. Different websites mean double the time and energy required to maintain it and also the user experience on different devices. In that case, it is different, which can lead to lost customers. Thus, in a nutshell, investing in responsive website design is the smartest decision.
- One Site Rule Is in Vogue: The internet access from a mobile device is rising exponentially each day. Business owners cannot and should not ignore responsive web design if they really want to do business successfully. The one-site-fits-all approach is going to be the norm.