Think about how your business’ customers interact with your website. Now open your website on a smartphone or tablet. Is the same experience possible on all devices?
A poor mobile experience can be disastrous for small enterprises attempting to build their digital businesses.
What has become clear is that businesses must redesign their online presence to take mobile device access into consideration. This is where responsive design comes in very handy indeed.
In essence, responsive design allows the creation of a website that reformats its contents depending on what device it is being viewed on.
Clearly, a website will look and behave very differently on a 27-inch desktop monitor than on a 9-inch tablet PC. Responsive design takes these differences into consideration to ensure that the user experience is always optimised. As a good primer in responsive design, the blog post by Ethan Marcotte is essential reading.
Responsive design has a number of key advantages for small businesses:
- Content can be created once and delivered to multiple devices
- The user experience is the same no matter which device accesses the site’s content
- As consumers increasingly use mobile devices to shop, responsive design can ensure this activity is familiar on a desktop, phone or tablet
- With over half of the UK’s population now owning a smartphone, content must be optimised for this channel
- Marketing opportunities can be enhanced with complementary services all delivered instantly across all customer touch points
For a responsive design to be successful, detailed planning is vital.
Taking the time to understand the content your business wants to include, and how responsive design principles will impact on that content, is critical to assess before any construction is begun. And, of course, there is a clear commercial advantage that isn’t lost on smaller enterprises, as they can build one website for all devices their customers might use to interact with their businesses.
Says Ben McKeown, lead designer at the digital marketing agency, Greenlight: “There are certainly exceptions to using responsive design, but, for the vast majority of small businesses, responsive design is going to be the most cost-effective, future-proof and efficient way of ensuring your site can be viewed on all devices and platforms.”
And David Wynne, founder at creative software workshop,Red Badger, also points out: “Responsive web design isn’t just about making your site look good on an iPhone oriPad, it’s about providing a consistent cross-device experience for users, and future proofing so that your product will adapt with technological developments.”
Source : Tech Radar