Do you need a responsive website?
Yes, yes you do – and here are three reasons why:
1. We aren’t going back in time.
Since the advent of the World Wide Web, most monitors were a fairly standard screen size and a site could be developed to allow for easy navigation for nearly all users. On June 29, 2007 came the iPhone – the device that changed it all and started this revolution.
Today there is a huge –and growing– variety of screen sizes from smartphones and tablets to Google Glass and the future iWatch, ad infinitum. There are no standards as to what size screen a device to required to have. Combine that with device companies picking obscure sizes for their proprietary devices (7.9”, Apple?) and we need a new way to look at web development.
Responsive design allows developers to create a site that can adjust to a vast variety of screen sizes and provide the best experience to users. The variety of screen sizes is only continuing to increase, so best to be prepared with a site that can display all information no matter the size.
2. Google search isn’t going back in time either:
Google no longer tailors search results to a mobile or desktop device. No matter what device you search on, Google is looking to provide you with the most relevant information for your query, regardless if its easy to read or not.
When a user navigates on the brand spankin’ new Galaxy S5 to a content page on your site and it displays the teeny-tiny text of the desktop version, some may stay (and be annoyed they have to zoom and scroll – and likely bounce after reading or midway through the article) but more users will simply bounce and find a different source for the information.
Following Google’s best practices and including high quality information is only half the battle – making your site easy to navigate and interact with on ALL devices can mean the difference between a sale and a bounce.
3. It’s all about the customer:
Most users who visit a site aren’t thinking about the way its designed or how it works under the hood. They could care less if you use responsive, adaptive, static, clairvoyant, prophetic or any other method to create the site – they just want it to work and they want it to work every time no matter how they get there.
If they are able to find what they need on their laptop before leaving home, but need to check it again on their mobile and its not easy for them to do – you start off with an irritated customer and a more difficult sale. A site needs to be designed for customers, not for developers or owners or BDCs. Customers are using more devices with vastly different screen sizes each year.
Developing a site that is easy to read, easy to interact with and has consistent graphic and navigation flow across devices is not only a good idea – its essential to a successful web presence, and will be of primary concern in the next 12 months across the web as mobile traffic continues to skyrocket.