The pace and evolution of technology and communication devices over the past decade has enabled anyone with a PC, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, television, game console, or even wrist watch to surf the web thanks to the built-in Internet connectivity on most of these devices. As the number of ‘Internet ready’ devices has increased, so too has the design trend of developing ‘responsive websites’ which adapt and resize the website’s layout and content so that it renders optimally on different screen sizes, whether it be a mobile phone, tablet or desktop PC.
Let’s have a look at some of the advantages of responsive websites:
Responsive websites are generally indexed better by search engines and also receive a higher weighting than standard websites as they can be rendered on multiple devices.
Responsive websites provide an optimised user experience irrespective of the device they are accessed from.
Since responsive websites render optimally on all devices and there is no need for redirects, there is much less customer drop-off and better conversion rates.
Managing a single template instead of multiple templates for different devices is much simpler for designers and significantly decreases development and maintenance costs. In many instances a good responsive website also eliminates the need for an expensive mobile app.
Most smartphones and tablets are HTML5 enabled, which has functionality that allows users to browse websites even when there is no Internet connection.
Here are some tips for web designers when designing a responsive website:
Following the general guidelines above should enable users to navigate your website from almost any device without serious usability issues.