The Importance of Responsive Web Design and What It Means
Why use a responsive design for the development of your new website? There’s an endless list of reasons, and it looks something like this: Mac vs. PC; Apple vs. Android; Chrome vs. Safari vs. Firefox vs. Internet Explorer; and so on… Truth be told, with so many variables in the web browsing game, the importance of responsive web design can’t be understated.
Think of it this way: Just about everyone has a computer at home, a computer at the office, a phone in their pocket, and probably a tablet somewhere in the mix… And each one of those devices is a different make or model, with endless different screen sizes, and running all different types of web browsing software. It’s not enough to design a website that displays great on one, single computer screen; but it’s also downright impossible to design a static, one-size-fits-all-devices website. This is where the flexibility of a responsive site shines, and where the importance of responsive web design is perhaps most evident.
The Importance of Responsive Web Design Definition
The simplest way to explain responsive web design is to borrow this explanation from Mozilla: “As more diverse screen sizes became available, the concept of responsive web design (RWD) appeared, a set of practices that allows web pages to alter their layout and appearance to suit different screen widths, resolutions, etc.” (The page will display one way on a desktop monitor, then adjust itself to fit a tablet screen, and adjust itself again to fit a phone screen.)
3 Advantages of Responsive Website Design
When it comes down to it, the importance of responsive web design can be summed up into three responsive design advantages that we think are most noteworthy:
Improved User Experience
When a website is responsive, it doesn’t matter what device or browser it’s being viewed on – it will always be at its most optimal viewing arrangement by default. That means:
- Text is legible without having to zoom in or out
- There’s adequate space for tap targets on mobile devices
- There’s no need for horizontal or otherwise awkward scrolling
The greatest advantage here is that when you optimize that viewing experience for your users by ensuring the site functions seamlessly across all devices, you build up user confidence and loyalty in your brand.
Improved SEO Rankings
To this point, we’ve talked a lot about design and functionality, but the importance of responsive web design spans well beyond just user experience. In fact, back in 2015, Google made changes to its search algorithms so that responsive websites now show up higher in search results than non-responsive ones. So, if you want prospective customers to be able to find you online, having a responsive website is a great first step.
Believe it or not, at one time, many companies had two different versions of their websites: one for desktop viewing and another for mobile. As you could imagine, this practice was both time-consuming and expensive for business owners because it required developing and managing two separate sites at once. As the inefficiencies in this practice became evident, the importance of responsive web design was amplified.
As you begin designing your website, there’s a lot to think about – and the importance of responsive web design should be at the top of that list. If you have additional questions or need some help getting started, contact us today, and a member of the Paradigm design team will be in touch.