It was only a few years ago that the big thing for websites was having a mobile version. Meaning a second separate website specifically for mobile users. That is no longer the case. Mobile sites are clumsy and often don’t match up with the look and feel of the desktop version. Modern websites need to be accessible to everyone regardless of what device is used to reach it. That is where Responsive Web Design or RWD comes in.
What is Responsive Web Design?
RWD is the practice of designing a website so that it responds to a user’s behavior based on screen size, device and orientation. In practical terms it means when a user moves from a laptop to an iPhone the website automatically adjusts its size, resolution, and formatting to maintain optimum user experience. The site is literally responding to a user’s preference of device. When done correctly RWD should make a site look just as good on a desktop as it does on a smartphone or tablet. The user experience, functionality, and readability should remain consistent no matter what. Here’s an example. This is what the Convergent1 website looks like on a laptop:
Here’s what the homepage looks like on an iPhone:
Notice on the screen the navigation menu at the top compressed into a drop down when it automatically reformatted to fit the small screen.
Why RWD Is Important
According to Google, mobile search queries may surpass desktop searches this year! That means the majority of your website visitors will be using mobile devices. If you do not give those visitors a good experience they will go elsewhere. Building a website using Responsive Web Design is a must for any business that wants to stay competitive at a time when technology is evolving at such a rapid pace.