In today’s technology-driven world, a company must have an online presence. Until about five years ago, this was as simple as buying a domain name and hiring a web designer knowledgeable in basic design methods. As the first mobile devices started to offer Internet browsing options, the need for a new method of website design appeared.
When web designers use the phrase “responsive design”, they are referring to users’ capabilities to view a website, no matter what kind of device they are using to access it. Optimal responsive design is important when designing a website, as it will create the best possible viewing experience for customers.
What Does Today’s Web Design Template Look Like?
Since the 1990s, the basic template design has changed about every five years. Most designers follow the simple template that has been in place since the early 2000s. The base design for web viewing is built on 1024 pixels, chosen for the most common browser size at the time. In regards to website accessibility, the template is for viewers who are using a mouse or laptop scroll pad, have broadband Internet, and use the same, perfectly calibrated monitor.
With the use of mobile devices with smaller screens, single-click and tapping options, and Wi-Fi connections growing every day, it has become necessary to update the way designers approach website creation. The perfect solution came with the invention of the responsive design method.
Why the Need for Responsive Design?
The purpose of responsive design is to create one website with the flexibility to be viewed and actively used on devices and screens of all sizes. In the past, websites were designed based on a general template with a certain amount of pixel resolution per screen, a basic screen size, and an assumed browser. This system worked for the majority of Internet users for years, but with the use of mobile devices and increasing speeds, website designers have had to come up with new solutions to fix the accessibility and viewing issues that come with the traditional template.
How Responsive Design is Revolutionizing Mobile Web Viewing
Previously, the most efficient solution was to create two websites. The first would be a traditional site to be viewed from computer browsers, and the second would be designed for mobile viewing. While this works, it is expensive and time-consuming. Although the cost of creating a responsive design website is slightly higher than using the traditional template, it eliminates the additional expense of creating one or more separate mobile device sites.
Another benefit of responsive design is that it increases the traffic on your website by making it easily accessible from any mobile device. The traditional website template is built only for double-clicking on links or in text boxes with a mouse. Responsive design incorporates swiping, single taps, mouse browsing, and keyboard browsing, so that the site can be viewed and used from any type of computer.
When searching for a web designer, ask about their responsive design history and see if they can provide any samples. For a website to succeed, it is important that customers can view AND interact with it, no matter what type of device they are using.
While it’s still possible to create two sites (one basic and one mobile), the responsive design solution saves your company money by eliminating the need for a second web designer to create the mobile page. Plus, you’ll save time by ensuring quick page loads on computers and mobile devices.