Why Responsive Design in your Website is Critical

The last few years have seen a huge shift in how websites are viewed. Mobile devices have an ever increasing role in how people experience our sites. Today anywhere from 35-50% of your viewers will be on a mobile device including tablets, and smartphones. With new technology coming down the road all the time. This means old style Flash websites which have always been popular with photographers are dead in their tracks.

But more than just Flash, traditional websites are in trouble as well, as their display is static. They were designed when people viewed the web on a desktop or laptop computer and designers knew what their display sizes were. Now, with hundreds or even thousands of different devices and display sizes the website itself has to detect and respond to the display of the device viewing it. The industry calls this responsive design.

This is far more than the site just shrinking to fit inside a smaller window, it’s the site actually re-configuring itself for a better user experience on the device. Images re-size, fonts, resize, menus change to suit the display, layouts are fluid and display properly. It’s a radical departure from website design done just a couple of years ago.

But technology has to keep up with modern user experiences not just devices. We talked earlier about differences in the generations of users. Well, it goes without saying that “Gen Y” is very technically savvy and expect more from the sites they see. So sites must have great “UX” User Experience and optimized for either touch or non-touch screens. This means that many menus and buttons activated by old style hover events may no
longer work at all. Clickable elements are being touched by fingertips rather than mouse pointers which means their points of contact have to be larger.

Yes, it’s a whole new world when it comes to website technology and today’s companies just have to go with it. It’s usually far better to use a design company that is on top of these things rather than to try and work through this all on your own. As a business person you job is to be selling and doing your business, not learning how to design your site. After all, if your company needed a new filing cabinet you wouldn’t go out and learn metalworking.

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