As technology and industry accelerate into the unknown, one of the most relevant buzzwords today is future-proofing. What we mean, in this case, is how versatile and responsive your website is to the needs of thousands or millions of visitors all on different devices.
Look at it this way. You may be visiting a website on your 2019 27″ iMac, your son doing the same on his iPhone X, your dad on an old desktop, and your mum trying out her new Amazon Echo with Alexa. If your website is optimized only for the desktops and iPhones but not for voice search, you would lose out on the voice. Voice search assistants alone account for 20% of Google searches according to web statistics. That number is rising every day, and who knows what new technology will come tomorrow?
The solution to staying ahead of this is not to play catch-up. It lies in designing websites that respond intelligently to the type of device or user who is visiting and react to their intentions and behavior. That is the work of responsive website design or RWD.
What is responsive web design?
Responsive website design is an approach that focuses on designing websites capable of reacting proactively to user needs, the platform they’re using to access the site, and their behavior. Aspects of RWD include resizing the website to optimize for smaller devices, changing compatibility for various platforms, and reacting to a change in orientation.
One of the most common aspects of responsive design presents itself in how sites are optimized to respond when you change your phone orientation from portrait to landscape. The text, images, and positioning changes instantly, even if it was a video you were watching. The same thing happens when you change a website from a window to fullscreen.
However, responsive design goes much deeper than that. It has to take into account “old” or obsolete technology such as the iPhone 5s. It also has to consider IoT devices such as Fitbits, Smart Watches, Echo devices, and many more. So, why does it matter so much for your business to have a responsive website?
Why does responsive web design matter?
You have probably already heard about how 94% of your site visitors base their first impressions on your website’s design and interactiveness. You may also have heard that over 50% of online commerce revenue was generated from mobile traffic and is expected to rise past 2021.
What you may not know is that, according to an Adobe site report released back in 2015, more than 80% of users will stop interacting with a site if it doesn’t display well.
Thus, it’s not about ranking or aesthetics or attracting the attention of millennials with an 8-second attention span. More than that, it’s about gaining and keeping clients, subscribers, or customers.
That is why you need to care about making your website responsive. It’s a massive effort, yes, but you need to do it now.
How responsive is my website right now?!
You might wonder, isn’t my website already responsive if it can load on mobile devices, iOS, Macs, Windows, and other common platforms? We answer that responsiveness is about fluidity. Have you:
- Made sure that your content responds to user behavior such as minimization and multitasking?
- Does your site respond well to changing resolutions, from ultra-high resolution screens to older 480p mobile devices? What happens to your HD images and videos then?
- Is your site friendly to those using VPN and private browsers?
- Does your site respond well to those using mobile data and low-speed connections?
- Even if your site is already responsive today, what happens if you need to catch up with new trends or update content in 6 months or a year? Will you have to change hundreds of pages individually?
In today’s media-heavy websites, these are important questions that need answers. Page load, visitor loyalty, bounce rate, ranking, and conversion are some of the buzzwords that make RWD a priority.
It is impractical to have a version of your website for every design, software platform, and unpredictable user behavior trends. Thus, the solution is to have a fluid website that responds automatically to such factors on their own.
Designing the websites of today and tomorrow
The technical aspect of a fluid, responsive website is easy enough if you have the talent, finances, and time. Without going into the more geeky stuff, some aspects of RWD include:
- Having images that crop, resize, and change resolutions automatically depending on screen type, resolutions, and orientation.
- Media that loads or fails to load depending on the user’s internet speed and device used.
- Text blocks that position and resize appropriately with the type of device.
- The behavior of floating objects such as ads, logos, and navigation tools.
- Hidden text, images, backgrounds, and image carousels.
- Flexible content layout depending on the device being used.
- Media queries and other runtime scripts and how they behave depending on the device.
- Optimizing your website for both touchscreens and cursors.
- Optimizing your content to voice search queries
And many other features.
Your local web design geek will probably add a few more for good measure. So, the technical aspect is already there, and new methods are coming out every day. The spanner in the works is when your budget is limited, you have time constraints, or maybe you plain don’t know where to start. That is where web design experts like us come in.
Future proof your business with a “Design My Website” Website!
History has taught us that only those who meet the future in stride will survive. In business, more than survival is required; you have to flourish and thrive. Having a responsive website is a foundational part of doing that.
As more and more users go online to buy products, services, get entertainment, learn, or for constructive distractions, finding a way to capture their attention and keep it will always be a solid business strategy.
You need to partner with responsive web design experts who can relate to your unique needs, take into account your current position and future goals, and work with you hand-in-hand to get your website where it needs to be – and your bottom line by extension.
You need a partner who gets it.
Reach out to us and we will lead the way to the next level of success for your brand.