Seventhman Blog

Adopting Responsive Website Design for Your Business (Part Two)

"responsive web design"As promised, here’s the second part of my post on building a responsive website for your business.  Truth is, mobile users are growing and while responsive web design has been around for years, it was only in 2012 that people have been talking about it.  This is not without a good reason.  If you’re a retailer doing business online, you would want to take advantage of having your site designed for desktop, tablets and mobile users.. and the challenge is to come up with a single site with flexible design that can adapt to multiple devices.  Customers are not only smarter; they are more demanding this time.  To ensure a seamless user experience is what makes customers coming back for more.

How to Make Your Website Look Great on Mobile

I often encounter this question.  Making your website looks great no matter the screen size is something that has baffled many.  In a nutshell, the idea of responsive design is where designers employ HTML5 and CSS to build your website, setting parameters so content in your site will resize properly when viewed vertically or horizontally.  It’s not really that complicated to come up with a way to build a responsive website.  It all starts with one word: Simplicity.  The challenge now is how to come up with a design that offers more content than fancy stuff.  For the same reason, going over the top with your pictures and advertisements can be a problem in creating a responsive design.

Should You Even Bother?

Case in point, you must know that responsive design is totally different from mobile design.  While having a mobile version of your website can be great start, you can grow your design to other sizes.  The key here is flexibility.  Everything is flexible – from grids, types and photos.  Sounds complicated?  Not really, that is, if you talk to the right expert about it.  The rise in mobile users is something you can’t miss this time and there’s a big opportunity to capitalize on this growth.  According to The International Telecommunication Union, there were 6.8 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide at the end of 2012.. and the number is growing. You can’t ignore this and there’s so much for you to do.

The Pros and the Cons

I’m not here to talk about best practices where responsive web design is concerned.  If you’re curious, you can check out this cool infographic from Splio. As with anything new, it is crucial to do your research before you jump into the shiny new object syndrome.  To make things short, consider these when adopting responsive web design:

PROs

1. Big brands have started taking advantage of responsive web design and it’s trending.  Delivering flexible content regardless the device makes for a great user experience.

2. It’s great for SEO as Google will only have to crawl on one version of your site.

3. Single website code that is viewable in multiple screen sizes makes navigating your site a breeze.

4. You save time when you want to make a change to a page.  You only do it once, without having to worry about screen sizes.

5.  Having a single URL to all versions of your website can help provide consistent experience.

CONs

1. The technology is still new and not yet widely adopted.

2. Responsive design may not have an impact on actual revenues, especially for those in E-commerce.

3.  In terms of investment, responsive web design may be costlier as designers and developers will have to work extra to collaborate on site layouts, architecture and navigation.

4.  There are limits on what you can tailor for specific screen sizes.

5.  Typography is not a one-size-fits-all solution.  Making your site easy on the eye can be a challenge.

Final Thoughts

I believe that responsive design is not the perfect solution; it is still evolving.  This post has only scratched the surface as we search for ways to make the Web.. a better place.