The Importance of Responsive Design
ST. GEORGE, Utah, Dec. 5, 2018 -- Wanna know something that is fun to do while you are bored? I’ll let you in on a little secret. Have you ever gone to a website and then tried shrinking down and blowing up the window? Notice how the website layout changes? That’s the coolest thing ever, right?
Okay, okay. Maybe it’s not as cool as… whatever you do when you’re bored. However, the ability for websites and applications to change layouts is revolutionary and fundamental to web and app design. You might not have even noticed it when you looked up a website on your computer and then on your smartphone, but a well, thought out digital display has the ability to be flexible with whatever device (e.g., smartphone, desktop computer, tablet) is being used. To appreciate its importance, one must understand what Responsive Design is, how it benefits marketing and user needs, and how it improves the ability to compete with other websites or apps.
Importance of Responsive Design
Responsive Design is the ability for an app or website to change its layout on different devices and/or window sizes. In other words, it is using code to “to automatically resize, hide, shrink, or enlarge, a website, to make it look good on all devices (desktops, tablets, and phones)” (HTML responsive web design, n.d.). It provides the user (the person that is using the website or application) the ability to access content on any device of choice. Tapping on a small link on a smartphone can be difficult with human fingers, but clicking a very large button with a mouse is excessive. Although these differences, such as buttons and link sizes, may seem like obvious design choices, they must be carefully thought out and planned. Designers must think about who is using the website or app, how the layout will react in different browsers, what the program is, and on what device said website or app will be accessed by. In contrast, these thoughts are never really considered by a user--which is a good thing! He or she will know if something about the application or website is wrong, but will not even think twice about accessing the content if the layout is intuitive and designed appropriately. This is why Responsive Design is “invisible” to the untrained eye. In other words, a well designed app or website is natural and instinctive to use. No attention should ever be brought to a digital layout.
Have you ever tried to click on a miniscule button from your smartphone and only click something else? Then did you have to spend the next few minutes trying to get that darn website to cooperate with your human hand? Our sympathies. We’ve been there. From a business standpoint, it is critical to have a responsive website or app. If you create an app or website that is flexible enough to react to whatever device the user uses, you are more likely to keep and expand your customer base. The more devices that can use a given program, the more people can be reached. If customers have trouble accessing a link on their device of choice, they are literally inhibited in their ability to use or access a given product and are more likely to become frustrated. That’s not exactly what businesses want, is it? Surprisingly, whether it is unknown to the professionals or it is just not thought about, not enough businesses or organizations consider or employ responsive design. Therefore, it is important to educate yourself and others on how imperative it is to employ responsive design. It could mean a world of difference to any business and its customers.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Websites and apps must be fashionable and keep up with their competitors. Responsive Design is a great place to start to address both areas of concern. World class businesses, such as Spotify and Pinterest, are very careful on how they design their content to be responsive. They ensure that users are able access their programs on any device or browser of choice. This responsiveness also tells the user that these companies know the ins and outs of current technology and are not still in the 1990’s (Actually, if you want find a sweet 90’s website, check this one out). A lot of care and love is paid to making sure websites are accessible for users. This time and care pays off as responsive design allows any website and app to have a more fashionable and competitive edge that is subtle yet impactful.
Although Responsive Design is a feature that is not often detected by the average user, it can have a substantial impact on expanding a customer base, keeping up with fashion and making users happy. So maybe when you are bored, play with the size of your window when visiting a website or app. We think it’s the coolest thing ever.
Websites that we think have good responsive design:
HTML Responsive Web Design. (n.d.). In W3 Schools. Retrieved December 5, 2018, from https://www.w3schools.com/html/html_responsive.asp