Responsive Design 101

Chris Graser | 07-03-2019
Responsive design has been around for a few years now and has become the defining phrase when it comes to having a website built. Since responsive design became the standard, there is still some confusion as to what exactly it is. Is it a mobile friendly site, is it the way the website is built, or is it a mobile ready site? Let's clarify, at least a little, what responsive design is and how it affects the users and the website.

Responsive design refers to a website or application that is designed and optimized to be used across multiple devices and operating platforms. To simplify that statement, a responsive design website can be used on desktops, laptops, tablets, or phones, running any of the major operating systems, including Windows, MacOS, Android, or IOS, without the need to create separate versions of the website for each device. This saves both time and money when designing and building a site. You only need to go to a single vendor to have everything created. It also keeps the process of working on the site simple for the future, as there is no need to update multiple files across multiple platforms when changes need to be made. Additionally, as design and functionality are added to the site, the updates are automatically deployed across all platforms at the same time.

This style of building websites also gives some benefit to the users. It gives them a seamless experience no matter how, or from where, they visit the website. They will always have access to the same information, and be viewing the same site, any time they visit. This builds trust with the site in the eyes of the user. It also eliminates the chances of the user getting incorrect or outdated information from the site. Overall, it helps the customer know that they are in the right place every time they access the website.

Once there is a basic understanding of what responsive design is, it is easy to see that it allows for more creativity with the website content and how it is given to them. For instance, it is possible to show or hide content depending on what platform the user is visiting the site from. Want to show a coupon to mobile users only? The website can automatically detect what device the user is visiting from and if it is a phone or tablet, display a coupon on the site that desktop or laptop users cannot see. Simple things like this make responsive design an extremely powerful tool to help grow your customer base and increase revenue for the site as a whole.

Responsive design is how the future of internet content will be created. It allows for creating a single point of contact between you and your users and simplifies the need for updating and creating multiple points of access across multiple platforms. For more information on this subject, we suggest consulting a local web design company, or visiting Googles Developers tools on Responsive Web Design.