February 5, 2019
Responsive Design has become crucial to success in the web industry. As web accessibility changes and manifests through new devices that have varying screen sizes, we also have to re-think how we design websites to boost user experience. According to Statista, the average consumer accesses the internet from 5 different devices consistently. But before we dive into why responsive design matters, we need to understand what it is.
Responsive Design is how a website responds to various screen sizes, broken down into three general categories: desktop, tablet, and phone. For example, if a website was designed only for a full size desktop screen, and you attempt to view it on a mobile device such as a smartphone, you wouldn't want to be constantly zooming and swiping just to navigate the page and find the information you are looking for. In fact, according to Iron Paper, 8 in 10 users will stop engaging with content that doesn't display well on their device.
That's not all, however. Responsive Design impacts potential visitors in a number of other aspects. In the past, responsive design meant developing for a very select group of screen sizes. To adapt to this, businesses would have different pages for different screen sizes or potentially even whole other sites designed specifically for a resolution. However, with an ever-growing market of resolutions, changes in Google's ranking algorithm (Hint: Google ranks responsive sites higher!), and designing across different devices to target various audiences, responsive design puts your website at the forefront web capabilities and cost-effectiveness. As per Adobe, approximately 65% of consumers ranked display as the most important aspect of a website. Why purchase different websites for each screen size when your website can scale across different resolutions? Not only that, but with all designs under one roof, publishing content and ranking your website on Google becomes a seamless experience.
All in all, responsive web design can benefit the business and the consumer on multiple fronts. Whether it's optimizing for Google's ranking algorithm, improving user engagement with a well designed site, or being proactive about where your traffic comes from, responsive design has started to have a huge impact on the web industry and that trend will continue as different screen sizes become mainstream (Take Tesla's vehicle dashboard for example!).
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