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Responsive design: Is it important?

Responsive design: Is it important?

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Responsive design is a popular word on the internet these days. It is not a tech jargon that is going away anytime soon because of the significance it holds in today’s world.  The massive number of smart gadgets like mobile phones, tablets and phablets have resulted in a demand for websites that are fit to be viewed on small screens.

The meaning of responsive design is simple. The number of screen sizes available varies from just above an inch to 10 inches. It is very difficult and expensive to create separate websites for every screen size where the devices are going to be redirected to. This problem was solved with the advent of new CSS standards and interface techniques which lead to the emergence of responsive website design which can help the website adapt to any screen size.

An easy way to check the responsiveness of a website on your computer would be to change the width of your browser and see how your experience is altered.

The principle behind responsive design is a collection of techniques which are used together to change the way a web page is rendered based on the screen size. This has been found to be superior and more futuristic than creating multiple pages for different screen sizes, as now one page can meet the demands of all devices.

Previously, there were separate terms for the version of the website – an ‘app’ or a ‘mobile version’ to be accessed by handheld devices like a tab or ipad, while a larger version remained for desktops. This was possible initially, but in these days and times with so many types of devices and operating systems available, it is impossible to keep up. As Smashing Magazine wrote, “when will the madness stop? It won’t, of course.” A responsive design which can be accessed by all devices is the right step forward.

How important this is for your website is evident from the following data. A recent Pew study reported that 45% of American adults possess smartphones while 31% own tablets. It has already been established by studies that smartphone shipments far exceed those of regular mobile phones, and the tablet market is also growing rapidly. You can easily verify these findings by checking the traffic on your website. You will be surprised to see the number of people visiting your website from different mobiles and tablets. This data is easily available by using Google Analytics. Click on the Audience link on the left side and the detailed traffic data will be revealed.

Responsive design is important and frankly, the sooner you decide to make your website responsive the sooner you start realising the full potential of your website. Do not ignore this because you will be losing valuable customers and clients everyday due to the poor web-viewing experience from incompatible devices.

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