Now You Know: What is Responsive Web Design?

By , On October 7, 2019, In Digital Experiences

Responsive web design has been a hot topic for a couple of years. You may have heard of it, thought you probably needed it, but weren’t sure how to implement it. 

It’s time to take charge and learn about this form of web design. In this article, we look at what responsive is, how it works and how to leverage it to create a better user experience for customers.

Be seen on all the right devices. 

Let’s start with the basics. A responsive website is a site that adapts to any screen size. It’s easy to use on a cellphone, an IPad, or a desktop computer. Most of this is handled by adding blocks of code—known as media queries—to the site. This code applies different properties to elements on your website depending on the screen size.  

A common use would be to hide a website’s main navigation on a smartphone and replace it with a smaller drop-down menu. 

This means no horizontal scrolling required. Because we know how annoying that used to be. 

Who master-coded responsive web design? 

While responsive web design is coded every day, you may not know who founded the term.

His name is Ethan Marcotte. He coined the term “Responsive Web Design” in a paper on A List Apart. He spoke about how the design landscape was changing due to the number of mobile users. He went on to say the only way forward was to create responsive design for mobile users. 

Since then, he’s written books on responsive web design, patterns and principles. 

Making mobile matter.

Responsive web design is a necessity in 2019 for the sheer amount of mobile web users. According to CIODive, 70% of internet traffic comes from cell phones. It’s essential for these mobile experiences to go well to create return visitors.

On a desktop display, for example, a web designer has plenty of real estate to display content such as your company’s story, products, pricing, and promotions. However, there is a lot less space on a smartphone screen. Users may get frustrated sifting through this info if all they need is your phone number. With responsive web design techniques, a designer can make decisions to provide an exceptional user experience.

Different devices. Identical experiences. 

There has been quite a discussion around responsive web design versus adaptive design verses mobile-online design. While these are all different types of web design, they have a similar function. Better user experiences for people searching the web on their phones. 

responsive web design

Responsive design relies on changing the design pattern to fit all screens. Adaptive design has multiple fixed layout sizes. This means separate designs for desktops, laptops and cellphones. Mobile-only design is a separate version of your website that is specifically designed for mobile-only users. 

Give the users what they want. 

At Twirling Umbrellas, our developers predominantly create responsive websites. Chris Stephens, our CEO, explains why. 

“Responsive web design is recommended by Google because it provides a better experience across devices.” We like being on Google’s good side and creating outstanding user experiences for our clients’ audiences. 

But at the end of the day, it’s always based on the client and their needs. If they only have mobile clients, creating a mobile-only website makes the most sense! 

Responsive web design allows us to refine the website and provide the most relevant content for the user. 

Design that gets the right response.

You want your company’s website to get the most action it can. If you have a mobile-friendly website, Google will thank you. It will rank you higher than a website that isn’t mobile-friendly. 

If you’re not sure whether or not your website is mobile-friendly, test it! Google has created an easy online tool that scores your website on its mobile-friendliness. 

responsive web design image

If you’re not happy with your score, it’s time to focus on responsive web design. A study by TytonMedia found that 94% of people cited unpleasant web design as the reason they left a webpage.

Your website must be a safe haven for your users. You need to provide them with what they need. And what they need is quality design. If your website isn’t responsive, you run the chance of losing out on a lot of qualified leads. 

Let’s create something dynamic together. 

Whether you’re looking to update an existing website or you’re starting from scratch, our developers are highly skilled in responsive web design. We create meaningful websites that transfer to different devices seamlessly. 

Reach out and let’s talk about making your website one of them.