The way in which consumers are accessing information on the internet has changed dramatically in the past few years, largely due to the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and the emergence and quick growth of the tablet market. According to Monetate.com, smartphones and tablets accounted for nearly 12% of total global internet usage in the first quarter of 2013 – almost double the figure for the same quarter in the previous year. More and more people are accessing their favorite websites – as well as searching for new ones – on handheld devices. Simply put – if you don’t employ responsive web design on your site, then you risk losing out to your competitors.
Why is responsive web design so important?
Most websites that were designed for desktop screens do not translate well onto the smaller screen of a smartphone or tablet. Sure, you could design and build a separate mobile site – but that costs both time and money. If you want your user to have a truly seamless experience on your site when switching between their desktop and handheld devices, a responsive website is the best way to achieve that.
It isn’t just about handheld devices VS desktop computers, though. Take, for example, the fact that many handheld devices allow the user to switch effortlessly between portrait and landscape. Without a responsive design, how will your website react to that? It is also important to remember that devices such as netbooks are very popular, particularly with commuters and travelers, and these often have a far lower screen resolution than your average desktop monitor. Surely it makes sense to ensure those users don’t have a different, perhaps even a worse, experience than those with higher screen resolutions.
Responsive web design is all about compatibility – as in: making your website as user friendly as possible on any device or screen type. And with the percentage of people using different devices to access the internet growing at an exponential rate, you really can’t afford to ignore it.