What is Responsive Design and Why Does My Site Need it?

Responsive design is something you may have heard about in recent months but may not know exactly what it means or what it’s meant to do.  With the way the web is now shaping, Responsive design is something that is key to any online business’s continued survival.

So, what is responsive design?Resposive-design-media

A responsively designed website is a website that is viewable on any device regardless of screen size. This usually entails moving content to different sections or under each other to make sure that all content is readable and doesn’t look squished up. For many new website designs, the designers will make 3 versions of the site in question; one for normal desktop browsers, one for tablets and one for mobile screens. There can also be versions for landscape and portrait on tablets and mobile.

Why all the variations you may ask? Well, each device has its screen size limitation. For tablets this is usually around 1024px by 768px and for mobiles around 568px by 320px. They may state that the screen can be viewed in 1080p, but do you really want to view a full graphic intensive website on a small 5inch screen? No, not really.

Why is it important?

chartoftheday_1766_Global_PC_Industry_Continues_Downward_Trend_n
http://www.statista.com/chart/1766/global-pc-industry-continues-downward-trend/

Now we’ve gone over the basics of what is responsive design and how it works, why is it important for your website to be responsive. The simple answer, desktops are on the down. Daily users are now opting to use a tablet or their phone to access data on the go. Life is now getting so face-paced, people are having less time to sit down and start up a big clunking desktop after work when they can simple access the internet anywhere in the world on their phone. The graph on the right shows that desktop sales have now decreased over 15% in the last 2 years. That’s not something to be ignored.

So, just how much traffic do mobile devices receive? Well in the recent study it shows that around 14.2% of the website accessed around the world come from a mobile device. That’s nearly 5 times more than 2010. This doesn’t take into account notebooks either.

ChartOfTheDay_1088_Percentage_of_global_page_views_from_mobile_devices_n
http://www.statista.com/chart/1088/percentage-of-global-page-views-from-mobile-devices/

The graph above shows just how much mobile web traffic has increased in the past 3 years. The UK’s mobile traffic has increased well over 5 times more in 3 years and Asia is leading the way with almost 23% of all traffic coming from a phone or tablet.

Hopefully all the above information gives you a good idea on why responsive design is so important and will help you make an informed decision on where you will be taking your next website re-design.

Rhys Stewart

Rhys Stewart

Rhys is our Apprenticeship Web Developer who joined December 2012. He has always been interested in IT and creating websites and has built a small number of websites for friends and family. Rhys is currently enrolled in an advanced level apprenticeship with Linear Blue & Reading College

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