Has your website caught up with your customers yet?

The latest statistical bulletin on the use of the Internet by adults in Great Britain was published by the Office for National Statistics in February 2012.

The results are quite striking. According to the bulletin:

  • 51% of adults used a mobile phone to access the Internet. This is more than double the estimate of 24% for 2010.
  • The two youngest age groups (16 to 24 and 25 to 34) both reported mobile phone Internet use above 80% in 2012.
  • Those aged over 65 have shown a four-fold increase in mobile phone Internet use from 2% in 2010 to 8% in 2012.

It’s a cliché but it fits, technology is moving fast, so are our customers. Being able to anticipate and respond appropriately to user expectations has a major influence on your business. The future is all about adapting – and this is what new website designs need to do.

Conventionally, websites have always been designed for display on a desktop or laptop computer. Such webpages do not make for an optimal display on any other internet browsing device such as smartphone or tablet computers.

As smart phones and tablet computers become the norm rather than the exception, and people increasingly go online for their purchasing decisions, more and more companies are using responsive web designs for their sites. Having a static website is no longer enough to meet the expectations of the internet users.

Devices differ in terms of the platform and screen size as well as the orientation. So, a webpage that works on a laptop may not suit a mobile phone. With a responsive web design, the approach is to create a website that responds and adapts its display based on the device it is accessed on.

What is Responsive web design?

In a nut shell, designing a responsive website requires the use of grids and layouts that are flexible, in an intelligent combination with images and CSS or jscript media queries. Such a web design is capable of switching its parameters of content and image size, resolution and scripting to provide a display that is optimised for the browsing device.

Animation showing an example of our responsive website and it’s breakpoints for varying device screen sizes:

Animation showing an example of a responsive website

When you incorporate the principles of responsive web design, it makes for a linearisation of content that is optimally presented over the entire spectrum of display systems available.

Why Responsive web design?

Having a responsive web design may boost your online presence and benefit your business in several ways:

1. Viewed on any screen and easily readable:

Your website will be easily accessible on all types of devices. It will adjust to different size screens by resizing fonts and images and shuffling content.

2. Easy to maintain and saves time:

Instead of having different versions of your website for desktop, mobiles and tablets, etc. you will only have one website to manage. So, you only need to use one platform to make changes, rather than updating different versions.

3. Cost effective and future-proofed:

Having a website that adapts itself means you don’t have to keep upgrade your website to catch up with the new technology. This saves you not just the additional effort but also a significant amount of money, given the fact that website design and development is costly.

4. Higher search engine rankings:

The dominant search engine Google recommends responsive web design for a better user experience – if the bounce rate is low and users stay on your website longer, your rankings will improve. Also, the URL structure of your website remains the same for all different types of devices (smartphone, desktop or an iPad), which makes it easer for internet search engines to index your site.

5. Increased traffic to your websites and increased sales:

Users are likely to leave your website if they encounter a problem. The better their browsing experience the longer they will stay on your website. Their experience will also influence their buying decision.

Here’s feedback from one of our clients, PM Properties on their new responsive website.

TEST how your website looks on mobile devices.

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