These days it’s hard to know what type of device your visitors might be using to access your website, let alone what size their screen will be. The sheer amount of screen sizes and resolutions available is enough to make your head spin. That’s where responsive web design comes in! In this article, we will explore responsive web design, why it is important, and the benefits of having a responsive website. Let’s jump in!
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web Design is a combination of techniques that allow a website to adjust to the size of the screen on which it is being viewed. This means that if your website is accessed via a small smartphone screen, it will be the same site that appears on a laptop or desktop computer, but it will have adapted to the constraints of that particular screen size and reformatted itself to provide the best possible user experience. Whether you are using a smartphone, a tablet, a laptop or desktop computer, the web page contains all the same content and functionality.
As the web grows up, it becomes more evident that relevant, sharable content is the most important aspect of any website. Responsive web design is the best way to utilize limited screen real estate, as it allows for ease of access by embracing a “mobile first” approach. This provides a cohesive experience, no matter what device is being used to view it.
Why should a website be responsive?
There are many reasons to use responsive design when building your website, but all you need is one: One website, that is. With the implementation of responsive web design, there is no need to build a separate website for mobile users. Your website will simply adjust to whatever screen size and resolution with which it is being viewed.
Benefits of Responsive Web Design:
- Responsive websites are accessible and functional across a multitude of devices.
- There is only one URL for customers and potential customers to remember.
- Updating just one website is much more efficient.
- Google suggests responsive web design for SEO purposes.
- Having access to your site, regardless of which device they are using, makes the user’s life easier, and happy customers are good for business.
- Websites that are responsive have longer shelf-lives, and they save both money and time on management, support, and upgrades.
- Regardless of the type of device a site is viewed on, the user experience will be better if it is consistent and optimized for any screen size.
Simply put, with no standard screen sizes or resolutions and constant changes being made, who knows where the market will go? Using responsive web design ensures that your website will be accessible and functional now, as well as in the future.
Card-based Web Design
One of the most versatile aspects of the responsive website movement are card-based designs. In general, cards are a small, rectangular space which contains easily digestible and sharable information. There is usually a border around the cards to separate them from each other and the rest of the content on the web page. Another way to separate cards from one another other is to give each one its own background color. These techniques will organize your content, as well as help the user understand your information and how to navigate your website. To find examples of card-based web design, you may not have to go any further than your favorite social network. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even Google+ utilize card-based design layouts to provide a cohesive experience to millions of users. Here are some of the benefits of using card-based responsive design:
- Cards contain concise, “bite-sized” pieces of information.
- Cards are highly sharable on social sites, like Twitter and Facebook, and can have their own social sharing buttons, making them even more sharable.
- Cards create a clean and organized website layout.
- Cards can be interactive.
- Cards are an organic way to get your visitors attention, making them a logical and convenient place for call-to-action buttons.
To wrap up, at present, responsive web design is the best way to ensure that a website is accessible and functional on an array of devices, with a myriad of different screen sizes and resolutions. If you have a website, it is in your best interest to make sure it is as accessible and sharable as possible, to the largest amount of users, no matter what device they use. Responsive web design will allow you the freedom and flexibility to design for nearly everyone on the web!
By: Danielle Dandridge