Remember around six years ago when you just got your first smartphone and started trying to browse the internet on it, only to find a nightmare of websites that you had to zoom in on so you could read the content on your tiny screen? It was a nightmare and made mobile browsing the equivalent of eating junk food for dinner: you’re not proud of it and you barely enjoyed it, but it was the only option in a pinch.
Many websites initially addressed this issue by creating an additional mobi site which users would be automatically directed to if they were browsing on mobile. However, this was not only complicated by the later introduction of the tablet, but it also meant having to manage several different websites for the same company.
In the meantime, the number of smartphone users is increasing rapidly every year. A cumbersome mobile experience on your site is more than enough to send potential customers off to your competitors. Responsive web design is the way forward – and it’s so easy you can’t afford not to do it.
What is responsive web design?
A website is considered responsive when it adapts automatically to the size the device you’re using – a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone. This allows the same website to be used across all platforms rather than having to develop a different website for each. The site will also adapt for smaller screens by making the text larger so one need not zoom, making buttons easier to tap and ensuring that no horizontal scrolling is required.
Responsive web design uses several techniques to be able to do this:
First, Media Queries. These allow sites to adapt not only to a device class (desktop, mobile or tablet) but also understand the dimensions of the specific device accessing the website. This provides a much more tailored experience for each user, rather than having to find the lowest common denominator of different device classes and leaving room for error.
Second, fluid grids. These are flexible grids created using CSS. Their columns automatically rearrange to fit into the correct screen size. This allows for consistent content, look and feel across all devices and means that designers only need to create one website design.
Finally, flexible visuals are media that can change their dimensions in proportion with the dimensions of the device, so they are never too big or small for the screen they’re on.
Why Responsive Web Design is Important for Business
First impressions matter. If someone navigates to your site on their smartphone or tablet and they see your information is going to be hard to read or your products hard to find, they’ll simply go elsewhere. The feeling is that your brand doesn’t care enough to make your offering presentable. You’re more likely to get conversions if your site is as clean, presentable, and easy to navigate as possible on all devices.
Of course, having separate sites for separate devices, as we mentioned above, solves this problem to an extent. This is where Google comes in, however.
In 2015, Google changed its algorithm to favour sites with responsive web design. This was partially with user experience in mind, but also because it is easier for Google to track data on websites if they have a single website for all devices. Having responsive web design on your site therefore improves your SEO and makes it easier for potential customers to find you.
Finally, having a single site for all devices makes your website easier to administer. Instead of having to maintain and update several different sites, you need only worry about one. This also makes the design process quicker - a single design for all devices is easier to update and optimise than three separate layouts.
How Do I Make Sure My Website is Responsive and How Can Neuromarketing Help?
These days, responsive web design is standard practice. Most site building apps and places that offer templates already include it in their coding. If you’re working with a designer, they’ll understand exactly what you mean. Just make sure to ask for it.
If you’re unsure whether your site is responsive, you can use this to check!
If you’re looking to optimise your user experience across all devices, neuromarketing can help. You can gain actionable insights for the design and optimisation of your website user experience using consumer neuroscience. Biometric technologies allow you to determine what grabs and maintains attention, measure your users’ emotional response, and create the optimal cognitive flow and engagement throughout the user journey. Our consumer behaviour research provides insights that can be implemented immediately into your user interface and site navigation, so that the resulting user experience is emotionally engaging and optimised to achieve your business objectives.