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Responsive Design: Is it Right for You?
 

Responsive Design: Is it Right for You?

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Responsive design – have you heard this term? There has been a lot of talk about it lately. If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s a simple explanation via Mashable: “A responsive web ...

Responsive design – have you heard this term? There has been a lot of talk about it lately. If you’re not familiar with the term, here’s a simple explanation via Mashable: “A responsive web design uses ‘media queries’ to figure out what resolution of device it’s being served on. Flexible images and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen. The benefits are obvious: You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens.” This article is a bit lengthy but does a great job of explaining it for people new to responsive design.

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    Responsive Design: Is it Right for You? Responsive Design: Is it Right for You? Document Transcript

    • Responsive Design: Is it Right for You? Responsive design – have you heard this term? There has been a lot of talk about it lately. If you‟re not familiar with the term, here‟s a simple explanation via Mashable: “A responsive web design uses „media queries‟ to figure out what resolution of device it‟s being served on. Flexible images and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen. The benefits are obvious: You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens.” This article is a bit lengthy but does a great job of explaining it for people new to responsive design. Now, as a non-web developer, you‟re probably thinking to yourself “How does this vary from my current website? My web developer told me my site works fine on desktops, iPhones, iPads and Androids.” Good question! Each platform and each browser (including each version of each browser) has slightly different specs so if your developer has done his/her job correctly, there are specific commands on the backend of your website to make sure they render properly on those various devices. So the question becomes, should you change your website to responsive-designed website? Start with the End in Mind Here at ClearEdge, when we embark on a website project with a client – whether creating a new one or improving an existing site – the first thing we ask them is “who is your audience and what are your goals for your website?” Lead generation? Education? Recruiting? It‟s crucial that you know who you are targeting so you can put yourself in their shoes and understand what they are hoping to either learn or take action on when visiting your site. Knowing this information can help you determine which type of website is best suited for your company. Use Your Google Analytics Data One of the best things to do when considering tweaking your existing website is to look at the analytics provided by Google (if you don‟t have Google Analytics or something similar set up for your site, do that now!) to see what devices and browsers people are using to visit your site. I‟m sure you‟ve heard the prediction by IDC that states “By 2015, more U.S. Internet users will access the Internet through mobile devices than through PCs or other wireline devices. As smartphones begin to outsell simpler feature phones, and as media tablet sales explode, the number of mobile Internet users will grow by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.6% between 2010 and 2015.” In spite of those predictions, we still think it‟s important that you build your site based on your target audience. So is your target audience mostly people who still use a desktop or laptop computer? Then a “traditional” website could be the right answer for you. If your visitors are primarily accessing your site via a mobile device, well then a separate mobile site might be the right answer for you. Oh, and if you aren‟t sure how a mobile site is different from a responsive design or traditional site, it‟s a
    • smaller version of a traditional site with a simplified layout. Mobile websites have an “m.” at the start of the URL. Determine What’s Right for You No matter if you‟re designing a “traditional” website, a mobile website or a responsive designed website, it all comes down to this fundamental principle – you have to determine the right design for the right site for the right user experience. And, of course, content is key as well. Check back in a few weeks when we discuss content creation. Now it‟s your turn. Have you heard about responsive design? If so, what do you think?