What Is Responsive Web Design And Why Should We Use It

Due to the rapid growth of digital marketing and the introduction of various smart devices; mobiles, tablets, laptops the term ‘responsive design’ should be something you hear and read on a regular basis.

Because of this growth, nothing is really future proof. We aren’t aware of the up-coming screen resolutions or what new device will be launched. Responsive design will help you be stronger against competitors when delivering a strong user experience to those visiting your website, regardless of the device they are using. But what is responsive web design…

So what are the benefits of having a responsive web site against having a mobile website?

–          Needing only one URL

–          Simplifies the redirection process

–          Can help improve SEO as search engines wont treat it as a separate site

–          One code being required to create and maintain content across various platforms

–          Delivers automatically resized assets based on the screen size the user is accessing your webpage on

For a greater comparison between the two options out there, read our article on mobile site vs responsive web design

But is ‘responsive design’ just a buzz word or does it have more meaning behind it?

The answer, it seems, lies between those two extremes. As we have seen from looking at various brands out there, responsive design isn’t for every business. It is great for delivering a true multi-channel experience but some brands, mainly retailers, may want to opt for a mobile site this is to give them more control over the page layout and what they want to deliver to the customer.

With responsive design still in its infancy stage there are still some issues arising such as the simple task of completing a contact form or reading tabled information. It is however a powerful tool for designers. It allows them the opportunity to use ‘progressive enhancement’ this is a design strategy that layers the content and functionality of a webpage to provide a scaled version depending on three factors; browser, bandwidth and device.  This strategy can be used alongside responsive design to deliver a stronger user experience.

Over the next few years mobile devices will become more powerful; bandwidth speed will increase and the shape and size of devices will change. It is safe to say that responsive design will help tie all these changes together to help you deliver the same branding and messaging in your marketing campaigns from one device to the next.

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