Responsive Web Design, or RWD is an often talked about topic of today’s web development industry. A few years ago, it was enough for a website to render attractively in four or five different devices, but things have been changed today.
As mobile browsing surpasses desktop browsing in 2014 with statistics continuing to increase. As of 2015, worldwide mobile phone internet user penetration was 52.7 percent. In 2017, figures suggest that more than 63.4 percent of mobile phone users will access online content through their devices.
A website must have a mobile marketing strategy in place to succeed. Moreover, the increasing variety of devices and screen sizes require designs to be more flexible than ever before. Earlier there were many options for serving mobile users, such as m-dot sites or mobile applications, the latest research shows that these solutions just aren’t as consistent or as cost effective as responsive design.
What is Responsive Web Design or RWD?
It’s an approach that responds to the user’s environment. It builds a website design for viewing across a wide range of devices such as desktop computers, laptops, mobile phones and tablets. It adapts the layout of the website pages to the viewing device’s screen size, platform, orientation and resolution. So, the moment the user switches from a laptop to a mobile phone, the website automatically adjusts. As one website design fits all, there’s no need for separate and expensive website development for each platform.
What very few people know is that this design approach does not suggest displaying all of your content in front of the reader. It is about displaying the right content to the users according to the interaction. An insightful content strategy gives directions on what is absolutely necessary at the appropriate point based on the device. In this approach content gets primacy and always comes first as no retrofitting is involved to fit a predetermined web framework.
What does the RWD concept involve?
There are three essential elements involved.
With flexible images and media, images can load differently to suit the device. This is done either by scaling or by using the CSS overflow property.
The CSS overflow property makes scaling easy for images as well as video. Set the media’s max-width to 100 percent. The image shrinks or expands according to the layout fixed. Provide the best quality image you have in the size. CSS then adapts it to the right size. There’s one more way of scaling images. You can crop them with CSS. Applying overflow allows you to crop images dynamically to fit a new screen environment.
The advantages of Responsive Web Designing are so overwhelming that it is now standard practice. Designers have stopped asking Brand Managers if they are looking for a traditional website or a RWD.
RWD is the new method of designing a website more accessible by virtually everyone.
Users don’t like redirect, and downloading a dedicated app is a hard when they’re dealing with limited mobile storage.
A Good responsive design solves all of those issues. If a single set of images, grids, page and the like are automatically resized to fit the user’s device And if you only have a single codebase to maintain and update, it’s not going to cost as much money nor take as much time.
The advantages of RWD are many as given below:
How to check if your website design is responsive?
How do you test your website? On opening the website on your mobile phone, if you observe that the site is seen the same way as on your PC it is probably not responsive. The browser has to zoom it out to fit, so the display looks the same but smaller. If the mobile phone shows an adaptation of the website page it is responsive.
The Overwhelming Response to Responsive Design
M-dot sites are fading. They are not popular anymore. Marketers are clearly shying away from developing separate adaptations for mobile phone users. It’s not about having to incur added costs on M-dots anymore. It’s not even about having to present a single consistent image or look. They have seen the writing on the wall. Numbers do not lie. Statistics prove that M-dot is on the decline.
Responsive Design is latest and flexible way of doing website designs today.
The single act of switching to the responsive website can give impressive business results.
Time to conversion has been reduced nearly in half and sales via smart phones and tablets have been increased up to ten times over in consecutive years. Now responsive website’s mobile conversion rate is higher than the old website’s conversion rate was for all devices combined.
The good responsive design is good for business. And if you want to be a good website designer, you must always design the website for the right business reasons.
RWD and the future
Responsive design in future should do more than building websites that adapt to different devices and their screen sizes. This is no longer cutting-edge.
It is a matter of time before users will demand good web browsing capabilities on wearables. Smartwatches and other smart wearables are already here. They are here to stay and only short-sighted developers will pass them by as passing fads.
With the limitation of min screen sizes on wearables, will there be new developments in the way users interact with their devices – voice commands or movements involving the hands or the eyes? Can audio technology deliver information and data to us?
In future, online experiences will need to respond not only to what prospects are using or wearing, but also to their location, the time of the day and also to what’s happening around them in real time.