If you’ve been away for the last 5 years, stranded like Gilligan on a deserted island in the Pacific, you may have missed a revolution – smartphones and tablets. Soon, 35% of the population will own a tablet device and the numbers will climb faster. Consumers are shunning TVS and PCs and are watching TV, emailing, socially interacting, and phoning others on these amazing all-in-one devices.
Mobile Usage is Growing Even Though The Experience Isn’t The Greatest
Stats show consumers like their tablets even though navigating and viewing portions of a page might be frustrating. Despite that, consumers are determined to experience the web through these devices.
Your goal should be to catch their attention at the point they are interested in a product/service – the optimal time when they are receptive to your messages. It seems this receptivity is heightened or broadened when they’re using a mobile device.
Mobile browsing is popular and it is expected to outpace desktop PC browsing by 2015. 40% of website visitors are now using mobile devices. For your business, it means adapt to the rising mobile trend or suffer the consequences. For small to medium sized businesses, there’s still one issue. Does your web site display correctly on these small displays?
Web Surfing Still a Problem
Traditional HTML websites normally don’t display well on these devices. With no standardization of display sizes, old websites look bad in many different ways. One bad experience is all it takes for a consumer to decide they don’t want to return ever again.
Responsive and Adaptive Design to the Rescue
Currently, most websites use basic coding. Unfortunately, this doesn’t have the capability of adapting to the odd screen sizes of mobile devices. That’s where the bad web experience originates.
There are two viable (design/programming) solutions to the mobile display problem: Responsive design or Adaptive design. These coding options allow the website to render properly and reformat itself in any mobile browser.
Adaptive design involves the creation of a number of templates that use scripted code to allow it to match to specific device screen characteristics. Adaptability is limited. Each template would respond to a certain screen size. Adaptive design does have its place in certain situations, and could be less expensive. However, responsive design seems to carry the best short and long term value.
Responsive web design or RWD utilizes coding that allows the web page to appear optimally regardless of the device or screen size. It requires very little ongoing maintenance since it upgrades with whatever browser the viewer is using. For the technically minded, Responsive coding uses fluid grid layouts, media queries, along with flexible image sizing and elastic videos.
Top Benefits of Responsive Design
- Better website viewing regardless of device
- Better website interactivity/navigation on mobile device
- Improved SEO performance – Google approved
- No url redirects required
- Fewer coding updates needed
- Is future friendly – adapts to changing technology and device sizes
- Provides advantage over competitors who don’t upgrade to responsive
- Avoids the high cost of developing native mobile apps
- Less stress in managing your website
- Having only one web site version saves on maintenance and brand inconsistencies
It’s not whether you will move to responsive web design, but when. There are some issues in migrating large corporate sites over to the responsive development framework, yet the weight of that issue is miniscule compared to the relative benefit of adopting RWD. You need to think about this now. A good way to learn more is to contact us for a review of your site and a discussion of responsive web design.
Mobile friendly websites will play a critical role in your businesses profitability soon. Get ahead of the curve and carve out your online leadership position now.