Series 4, Article 43

Because mobile Internet usage is increasing steadily, it’s extremely important that your website is friendly for any size device on which it is viewed.

Remember in years past, you would bring up a website on your cell phone and it would be a tiny version of the actual website you would see on a desktop?  Then you’d have to “pinch and spread” you fingers to get it bigger and then use your pointer finger to move around and try to find what you want?  Those were the years of resizing, panning and scrolling to find what you want.  What a pain!

Then came the concept that you would have a website built for desktop users and another site specifically developed for mobile users — Two websites, twice the cost, twice the maintenance.  Thus the development of Responsive Design — a design that can handle both types of users.  With a responsive website design, you don’t have to have worry about having different websites for various devices or making sure that your site runs properly on a mobile device.

Responsive Web Design was born.  (Yeah, and the angels sang!)  With responsive web design, your website in built in compartments and columns that can easy stack when the browser window gets smaller, like for an iPad, notebook, cell phone, etc.  All of the content stays large so that you can easily read it without the “pinch, spread and search” method that frustrated us for years.

Type stays large, while items such as photos and videos resize to screen width for easy viewing.  This new type of responsive website is built on the concept of percentages rather than pixels and points.

If your designer really knows what he/she is doing you will have a “cheat bar” at the top of your website that allows customers to quickly call, email, or map your location.  This is mainly used when your website is seen on a cell phone.  If someone looks your website up on their cell phone, they are most likely not shopping as much as wanting to get a hold of you by phone or email, or driving to you and needing a map.

For customers who do like to shop on their notebooks or cell phones, a responsive design makes the eCommerce and Paypal areas easy to navigate, whereas unresponsive sites’ shopping page are sometimes unusable.  One thing has become clear: mobile is taking over Internet surfing. And, it’s not even just surfing. It’s everything from browsing social media outlets, checking emails and doing some online shopping.

To stay competitive in today’s market, it is important that you make the switch to responsive design for your website.