Why is Responsive Design More Important Than Ever?

Let’s look at some statistics:

  • Statista reports that in 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones.
  • According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site on mobile if they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitors site instead.
  • In 2017 mobile eCommerce revenue accounted for 50% of total US eCommerce revenue.
  • 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website.

The usage of mobile devices is expected to grow leading us to one conclusion: mobile matters!

Mobile Websites—Then and Now

Multiple Sites

In the olden days (that would be in the late 2000s), websites were designed for desktops and a different site was presented on mobile devices, which typically meant the mobile experience was subpar.

From the website owners perspective, you had two separate sites to update, maintain, and protect. The focus was clearly on the desktop versions with some nod to those early adopters of smartphones. The first iPhone was launched in 2007 and things have clearly changed since then.

Improved Technology

Fast forward to today and multiple sites are a thing of the past. Building a responsive website that shares the same information on both desktop and mobile devices is best practice.

The concept is simple—here’s an illustrative example: Imagine a desktop website with 3 boxes horizontally across the page. On a mobile device, a non-responsive site makes the boxes smaller to fit the screen (and becomes illegible), whereas a responsive website will respond to the device and arrange those boxes so that they stack vertically. Mobile users simply scroll up and down to view.

From a design and development perspective, responsive design presents some interesting challenges since there are many different phones and tablets on the market, each with their own screen size and aspect ratios. Add in the different browsers used on these devices and, as you can image, there are some technical skill and quality control measures required to make it all work seamlessly.

Benefits of Responsive Design

User-Friendly Experience on Mobile Devices

Engagement with your website is all about user experience, and responsive technology gives us the opportunity to create a website that automatically modifies (or responds) to the device being used.

The features we can leverage to make that mobile user experience outstanding include:

Selectively Displaying Page Elements (Adaptive Design): Since mobile devices have limited functionality compared to desktops it’s important to consider what a mobile user really wants to see when they pop onto your website. Typically they are looking for specific information and responsive design plus adaptive design enables us to automatically selectively choose what content is displayed based on the device used—desktop or mobile. All those fancy videos and pictures on the desktop may just be a distraction for the mobile user who wants to find the location of your offices while on the go.

Buttons for Fat Fingers: Have you ever poked at a website link on your phone and hit the wrong one? That’s not your fat fingers, that’s poor website design. Responsive technology allows the page content to be reorganized, but it’s the planning and design that determines user experience. Again the concept is simple—make buttons big enough for fat fingers and don’t put them next to other buttons.

No Longer Too Small to Read: Responsive technology has all but eliminated the too-small-to-read problem associated with older websites. At the end of the day, if visitors can’t read the text, they are going somewhere else—pinching to expand is a thing of the distant past. Responsive technology is part of the solution, but the way websites are designed and built to take advantage of the responsive technology is also a big part of the picture. Simple page layouts, icons, and short descriptive headers allow visitors to navigate quickly to more detailed content pages. Detailed content pages are also adopting a much simpler (mobile-friendly) layout to give visitors the information they need now.

Lower Bounce Rates / Higher Conversion Rates: Bounce rate measures the number of visitors that come to your website and leave immediately (or bounce). Lower bounce rates are associated with more engaging websites. Especially for all those mobile users, a well-designed responsive website results in a good user experience, and in turn, people will stay on the site longer. The longer someone is on the site, the more likely they are to complete a form and enter into your sales funnel.

Improves Google Rankings

Google proactively rewards websites that are mobile friendly. Or look at it from the opposite perspective—penalizes those that are not mobile friendly.

In 2015 Google announced their mobile-friendly initiative which ranked mobile-friendly websites higher for searches on a mobile device. Skip forward to 2018 and Google is introducing mobile-first indexing which ranks your website based on the mobile version of the site before (or instead of) the desktop version. In practice, this means if your site is not mobile-friendly the chances of getting found organically through an online search are extremely low—and that is a game changer!

Competitive Edge

The most basic of benchmarks is often overlooked—have you looked at your competition lately? A responsive website is already the industry standard and is defining who wins the online battle for client attention. The first companies in your industry to make the switch get a leg up. Conversely, you might find you are already behind the curve and need to go responsive just to level the playing field. Make sure you check it out.

Responsive Website Design is Now Critical

If we haven’t convinced you already that responsive design isn’t a nice-to-have, but an absolute necessity, let’s take another look at those staggering statistics:

  • According to Google, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site on mobile if they had trouble accessing and 40 % visit a competitors site instead.
  • In 2017 mobile eCommerce revenue accounted for 50% of total US eCommerce revenue.
  • 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website.

The message is clear—online buyers want their content delivered in an easy-to-use format that allows them to find exactly what they are looking for when they are looking for it. If your site doesn’t do this, they will find one that does.

Ocean 5 Builds Outstanding Websites for Business

Ocean 5 creates websites that are fully custom, technically advanced, responsive (mobile-friendly), professionally designed, and provide an outstanding user experience. We use Growth Driven Design to build a digital platform for accelerated lead generation.

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