Responsive websites respond to their environment
Smartphones and tablets have changed our approach toward web site design and the end user's experience. Prior to the proliferation of mobile devices with advanced web-browsing capability , we had only one primary challenge to deal with – keeping the same look and feel of your website in various desktop computer browsers.
However, interacting with websites on smartphones and tablets is not the same as doing that on a desktop computer monitors. Factors such as Click versus Touch, Screen-size, Pixel-resolution and support (or lack of) for Adobe’s Flash technology and others have become crucial in creating websites with Responsive Design.
But, why is responsive design so important for your website?
Before we understand that, we must understand what actually is it?
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web Design is an approach of laying-out and coding a website so that the website provides an optimal viewing experience — ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones.
Time & Money
The notion that making a responsive website is expensive is just that, a notion. The fact is, while the cost to make a responsive website is somewhat more than making a conventional website, the expenses in duplicating a website for mobile and other devices is completely eliminated as a result – that cuts total development costs significantly. In addition to that, a responsive design cuts the ongoing management costs, by means of taking away the effort to maintain different versions of a website i.e. a 'desktop-version' and a 'mobile-version'. Therefore, in the long term, investing in a responsive website design is the smartest decision!
The Rise of the Mobile Device
Internet traffic originating from mobile devices is rising exponentially each day. As more and more people get used to browsing the web through their smartphones and tablets, it is foolhardy for any website owner to ignore responsive web design. The 'One Site Fits All Devices' approach is already becoming the norm.
Content may well be king and discoverability of content foremost to a web site's success, but it is the user experience that enables visitors to consume that content on your website through the device of their choice and preference at any time. Responsive web design is about providing the optimal user experience irrespective of whether they use a desktop computer, a smartphone or an iPad.
Responsive Websites are agnostic to devices and their operating systems. A responsive web design ensures that users get the best and most consistent experience of your website on any device of the user’s choice and preference – be that the iPhone, the iPad, the smartphones running the Android OS, or the Windows OS and several others.
Responsive web design - the smarter approach!
"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 [@veen]