Web development projects question the possibility of a responsive design for websites. We always end up in discussion with the client on why they need a responsive design. We design proposals in accordance with the needs of the client. And explain to them what responsive is and why is it important for business. Below is an extract from one of our recent proposals which we created for one of our clients.
Responsive for Dummies
Responsive design refers to the web design that has the ability to adjust itself in accordance with the different screen resolutions of varied devices. If you minimize this browser, you will observe that the web design adjusts itself in accordance with the size of the window. This is what we call responsive. It is much easier to navigate and read the text. The design automatically readjusts itself due to which scrolling and panning becomes easier.
Responsive design does not require multiple designs to be coded, rather it utilizes the same website, same content and same codebase.
The entire approach follows three functions. These are as follows;
Adaptive: The adaptive layout makes use of media queries. This assists in modifying the design is such a way that it adjusts itself on varied screen sizes.
Fluid: Instead of pixels, percentages are used in the codes. Due to which the design is fluid.
Flexible: All the images and videos uploaded on the website are scales with relative units, as a result of which they adjust themselves on smaller screens without expanding beyond their containers.
The Bad (for performance?)
Responsive designing has been there since the beginning of the web. It emerged with the introduction of HTML in 1992. The only new changes applied to the code are the introduction of media queries which determines and readjusts the design. These are supported by 82% of browsers while IE7 and 8 do not support media queries.
Bad for website performance?
Some believe that a responsive design is bad for performance of a website. That is not true. Performance of any website or mobile site suffers due to poor implementation of code, otherwise, if nicely done the performance of a responsive design is better than a regular one.
There is a pattern which a responsive design follows. The design is super simple due to which many believe that it is less creative. That is not true; there are many amazing sites out there which are extremely simple in design yet extremely creative.
But Why Responsive?
Afew years ago there was only 1.2% traffic coming from mobile devices, but with the usage of mobile devices this percentage has soared to 13%. Along with a multiple browser strategy, we now need a multiple device strategy as well. Ignoring this can result into loss of traffic and engagement from potential leads. Now is the time that companies should take strategic decisions for their online presence and to maintain the online visitors.
The trick is to choose any of the three mentioned options:
- Build websites that are responsive, device and browser friendly.
- Create website that are device specific.
- Do nothing and let the traffic depend on pinch-zoom model.
Provide Consistent User experience
People usually use their tablets and smartphones for browsing these days. Non-responsive site only means limiting their user experience and frustrating them with unreadable and non-adjustable fonts. Don’t expect them to open up their laptops and browse your website, they won’t. that is when you risk losing them to a better user experience provider.
Choose the Cost Effective Measure
Crafting a responsive website is cost effective because it adjusts itself on every device and utilizes the same code for every platform. Device specific sites have to be coded separately for each and it supports only certain mobile devices. Therefore, one responsive site is cheaper than having two non-responsive sites.
Below is the list of a few responsive sites which are being utilized by different industries.
Is it Expensive?
Yes, there are extra codes to be written and deliverables to be achieved. It is slightly more expensive than a non-responsive site. But the results achieved through responsive design are far more effective leading to ROI. But when moving your development department to responsive structure changes in processes are required. New processes may frustrate the team, but are necessary to bring about a much needed and productive change.
When goal is to present information then ‘responsive’ is the word. In order to accommodate this approach many companies are making an effort towards developing processes in terms of design and front end development etc. the decision in the end always depends on what the client wants and what his requirement is. But we always recommend responsive.