21 December 2012 by Web Bureau
Fed up resizing, panning and scrolling when viewing websites on your smartphone or tablet?
Not only is it time-consuming and infuriating, but some users actually find it annoying enough to close the window and look elsewhere!
Rationale: 45% of UK internet users now connect to the internet via a mobile phone
Problem: Users may click off your website and onto the website of a competitor if your site does not fulfil their viewing expectations
Solution: Responsive Design!
What is Responsive Web Design?
This technique simply means your site adapts its layout to the environment in which it is being viewed, providing the optimal viewing experience for the user. The term ‘Responsive Web Design’ was coined by web designer and developer, Ethan Marcotte in 2010, as a response to speculation that mobile web browsing would overtake that of desktop browsing.
Why is it Important for Website Owners?
According to the Office for National Statistics, there were 17.6 million mobile phone internet users in the UK in 2011. This translates to almost half (45%) of all internet users in the UK connecting to the internet via a mobile phone.
And with regards to the speculation that mobile web browsing will overtake desktop internet usage, it’s not a case of ‘if’ but a case of ‘when’.
Whilst developing a desktop and a mobile site can provide a solution of sorts, this can be extremely time consuming, and expensive if your website needs to be tailored for the various makes and models of mobile phones.
That considered, it makes sense to adopt Responsive Design to ensure all content on your site is automatically formatted and scaled, allowing users a perfect viewing experience on their Blackberry, their iPad or desktop.
How Does it Work?
Responsive Web Design provides a ‘one size fits all’ solution in a cost and time effective manner, using the 3 key technical ingredients as identified by Ethan Marcotte:
• Fluid grids (grid measurements expanding and contracting as needed)
• Flexible images
• CSS3 Media queries (to adjust website styles according to the characteristics of the device.)
In addition to the 45% of internet users in the UK who access the internet from a mobile phone, the rollout of the 4G network will also have a major impact as smartphone users take advantage of the high speed connections from their mobile device. The volume of mobile search traffic to websites is set to increase rapidly.
In light of the growth of mobile access and search, Responsive Design should be carefully considered by all website owners.
Luckily for you – our team at The Web Bureau are ready and waiting to help!