The power of Responsive Web Design


The Mobile Web will overtake desktop browsing by 2015

Back in April of 2010, Mary Meeker an internet analyst at Morgan Stanley released an amazing report that stated that the amount of users browsing the internet on mobile phones would overtake users who use desktop computers to browse the internet, before 2015. These predictions have now been agreed to by Tony Keusgen who is Google’s Head of Technology in Australia.

What does this mean?

Put simply this means that if your site is not optimised to display nicely on mobile phones you will be potentially missing out on a huge percentage of internet users. When we say "display nicely" what we mean is is that the content of the site fits nicely on a smartphone device so that the user does not have to pinch and zoom in
to read the content.

Any new build of a website should consider mobile browsers and, put simply, if you are talking to a web company who are not discussing this issue with you, you may want to reconsider them as a potential web partner. Mobile browsing is the future and needs to be at the fore front of website design strategy.

Responsive web design - the best way around the problem

The way we used to produce mobile sites was to write a piece of code that redirected the user to almost a completely different site depending on if they were viewing the site on a mobile or on a desktop. We would produce two versions of the website - one was a mobile version and one a desktop version. This meant twice the amount of work.

With the rise in responsive web solutions those days are long gone.

What is Responsive Web Design?

In English, "Responsive Web Design" (or 'RWD' for short if you want to be fancy nancy) basically means that when a website offers up content it responds to the users device. In other words if a user is viewing the site on a high resolution screen the site responds and displays content for that screen. If the user is on a mobile the user sees the same content but the design of the page responds and resizes in order to display the content for a smaller screen resolution.

As a result of this, users across a range of devices and browsers will have access to a single source of content. Content that is laid out so as to be easy to read, digest and navigate with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling.

Obviously this helps maximise the conversion rates of your website making it do more for you as a marketing tool.

Introducing the 1140 Grid System

Here at Attitude we are huge fans of responsive webdesign and a CSS grid system called 1140. Sites using the 1140 Grid resize to fit with the browser width - as the 1140 site explains:

"The 1140 grid fits perfectly into a 1280 monitor. On smaller monitors it becomes fluid and adapts to the width of the browser.

Beyond a certain point it uses media queries to serve up a mobile version, which essentially stacks all the columns on top of each other so the flow of information still makes sense."

^Above - a couple of examples of sites we have designed and launched recently that use responsive web design in the form of the 1140 Grid System

Using Google Anylitics to assess your situation

"So how do I find out about how many users that come to my site are using mobile devices" we hear you ask. Well, we would recomend singing up and installing 'Google Analytics' to your website. googley anylitics allows you to easily track your visitors, where they have come from, how long they spend on your site and, most importantly in relation to this article, what platform they are browsing your site on.

 

Recently Google has seen the need to easily show mobile phone browsing data and has create a speciel "mobile" area so that users of Google Analytics can quickly and easily see the mobile usage.

This will easily enable you to see how urgent mobile optimisation is for your website and also allow you to see the value of investment in this area of marketing.

Get a responsive web design with attitude

So - does the above make sence? Do you want to work with a company who are forward thinking and who work with you to maximise your websites business objectives? Give us a shout today!

Do you have any questions or comments about responsive web design? Add a response below...