Responsive Design – Why is this Important?

Over a decade ago developing websites were pretty much designed around one size. Desktops. Since then the introduction of smartphones and tablet readers have challenged the web development community on how to properly handle content so that it is viewable and useable on different browsing devices.

Why did this become important? Why not just have a desktop design? Mobile Internet traffic is now reaching 60% of all Internet traffic. A desktop design will appear small and hard to read on smaller devices and thus research has shown when an organization does not have a mobile site or responsive design that mobile or tablet user is most likely to stop looking past the home page of that site.

The knee jerk approach when smartphones became popular and content management systems were in their infancy was to develop a totally separate site files for mobile phones. Thus time consuming duplicity was born when it came to development and updating websites under this structure. When tablet devices hit the market a few years ago now we have 3 times the amount of work to develop and maintain designs.

The web development community came up with a smarter solution to handle the ever-changing browser sizes from different devices. Responsive design. How this works is in the layout of a website there is code that reads the browser dimensions and makes a determination on how large or small content should be and where it should be placed on the viewable window of the browser.

A great example of this is the following website:

If you are looking at this website on a desktop especially a large one go ahead and expand or contract the web browser window. Notice the how the content’s size moves in relation to the browser size. This is responsive design.

The goals of responsive design are straightforward:

  • One overall web design
  • Content is adjusted by browser size
  • Content is usable by browser size

Success Media Services has experience in both traditional mobile file structures and responsive web design techniques to make content look great on different devices.

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