Why Your Business Needs to be Investing in Responsive Web design?

26-07-2013

PC sales experienced an almost inevitable decline starting in 2012. Main reason for this decline has been the increasing use of tablets and mobile devices.

Experts believe that PC sales will continue to decline over the next couple of years. However, on the flip side of things sales of tablet devices have been on the rise currently exceeding 100 million in the present year. It is forecasted that tablet sales figures will exceed those of notebook computers and desktop computers in 2014.

Mobile phones are also a hot commodity with the majority of mobile subscribers in Australia accessing the internet via their iPhones or Galaxy's. Smartphones are also being used to purchase items off the internet, pay for subscriptions and online banking. Also, newer technologies like NFC (Near field communication) will soon make carrying around a credit and debit card a thing of the card which further emphasizes the importance of mobile devices.

A few interesting mobile phone statistics

  • Out of the 4 billion mobile phones in use around the world over 1.08 billion are currently smart phones.
  • eBay which is one of the largest online auctions receives a sale from a mobile device every 2 seconds!
  • Other websites like Facebook, Wikipedia and Amazon have all reported a 20% increase in their traffic from mobile devices according to comScore.
  • Currently 28% of all internet traffic comes from mobile devices.
  • 17% of cell phone owners browse the internet on their cell phone rather than a computer.
  • 19% of all search queries originates from mobile devices.
  • By 2015 mobile internet usage will be greater than desktop or laptop internet usage.

Introducing Responsive design

Despite the rapid increase in the number of mobile users accessing the internet many businesses are slow to make a transition towards responsive design. Responsive web design uses what is known as "media queries" to try and figure out the resolution of a device it is being served on. A website that has flexible images and uses fluid grids is then able to properly fit the design / content on to the screen. For instance, if you were viewing this content on your desktop browser and you shrunk the browser a bit you'll see that the images and the content will shrink in order to fit. A responsive design is mainly meant to be able to fine tune itself to provide an enjoyable experience to the user regardless of the device they may be using.

A responsive design will also need to be able to cater to devices with different screen resolutions. Plus, on touch devices a website needs to allow for swiping between pages or columns which is technically referred to as being "adaptive design" as opposed to "responsive" but now both these approaches have to be used in tandem to ensure success. However, the biggest benefit of this type of design is that you just build your website once and it will work seamlessly across probably hundreds of devices both new and yet to be released.

Why this is the year of responsive design?

The exponential increase in the number of smartphones and tablets coupled with the fact that most users prefer to read the news, surf the web and check their email via their mobile device means that your site needs to adapt in order to survive. 2013 is certainly the year to ensure that your website is responsive it is probably also the only year you can afford to keep your website static or dynamic (conventionally).

Many experts agree that in 2014 if your business's site is not easily accessible via a mobile device you're going to lose out on business and visitors. This if left unchecked could end up affecting your business in a big way.

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