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Ever opened a website on your phone and then stretched the website, zoomed in, moved the website around, enlarged or shrunk it as needed, all just to read text and find the clickables? Think about all the effort and time that a reader has to spend, just to gather basic information.

Now think about a mobile app where all the information on the website is presented in a more concise manner. Defining a user app experience and mobile web design involves providing precisely the information that converts a reader into a user. Responsive web design ensures optimal user experience across devices.

It’s 2015, and a vast majority of businesses are contemplating mobile web development. If your business is not vastly dependent on the digital space, but you want to reach a larger customer base, mobile is the way to start. Advertising through mobile app and creating an exciting mobile app user experience is absolutely essential. With people switching to mobile for getting most of their work done, your responsibility is to create a responsive web design.

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The ABC of Responsive Web Design

In case the term “responsive web design” is alien to you, no worries! In about less than a minute, you’ll know what it is.

Responsive web design, in short, is a design that adjusts gracefully to fit on desktop, tablet, and smartphone browsers. Let us take an example. The user interfaces for a desktop and for a tablet are illustrated below. The content on the page remains the same. But the design is made to fit the interface beautifully.

Other Factors

From this example, we may conclude that responsive web design is not a technology-based, but a design-based approach. It’s meant to solve the problem posed by increasingly varying screen sizes and make websites work irrespective of resolution and device. Another key thought process behind the responsive web design approach is providing mobile users a complete experience (by allowing them most of the functions possible on the desktop-compatible version), as mobile is the primary medium of accessing the internet for thousands of users. Besides, responsive designing also provides a consistent experience across devices.

Don’t get confused with adaptive design…

In both – adaptive & responsive design, the basic concept is that you create a website that works on multiple screen sizes, most commonly to work well on at least three different screen sizes — a small mobile screen, a tablet-sized screen, and a larger desktop computer monitor.

So what’s the difference?

Responsive designs respond to changes in width of a browser window by fluidly adjusting the placement of elements on a web page to best fit the available space. Thus, as you drag the side of a browser to make it larger or smaller, you’ll see the design change in real time.

Adaptive designs , such as the one American Airlines created at aa.com, use a sophisticated auto-detection script on the web server to identify each device that visits the site and then deliver the best version of the site, based on the size and capabilities of each device. As a result, the American Airlines site doesn’t change if you drag the browser while you view the site.

So, why is responsive web design so important?

There are three reasons that we can immediately list out as to why websites being responsive is an absolute necessity for a business:

  1. Higher customer retention – When customers are able to surf through information of their choice with ease, the retention of the brand is high. Responsive web design captures the attention of users because it is convenient.
  2. Faster turnaround – Due to the ease of surfing through a mobile website, the customer feels that the work is done ‘faster’ than a conventional desktop site. Hence, usage is higher and turnaround shorter.
  3. Increased accessibility – Anytime, anywhere! Businesses desire a global approach. With customers spread across the world in different time zones, it becomes important for a company to be available when the customer needs it. A mobile web application keeps the business accessible to users round the clock.

With such unique features, the ultimate result is better conversion.

Does responsive web design really mean better conversion?

The average conversion rates through mobile devices are pretty high in comparison to a conventional desktop interface. Nowadays, most websites receive almost 40% web traffic from mobile devices. Over the past two years, the number of mobile visitors for small business websites has increased.

According to a study conducted by the Aberdeen Group, websites featuring a responsive design were rewarded with a 10.9 percent increase in visitor to buyer conversion rates year-over-year. As for non-responsive websites, there was just a 2.7 percent increase.

Aberedeen Research Responsive Design

Case study: O’Neill Clothing Company

Popular e-commerce store O’Neill Clothing provides an example of how responsive design can improve conversion rates. According to research, after their firm switched over to a responsive web design, O’Neill found the following results after a three week period:

Responsive design impactFor iPhone/iPod:

  • Conversions increased by 65.71%
  • Transactions improved by 112.50%
  • Revenue increased impressively by 101.25%

For Android devices:

  • Conversions increased by 407.32%
  • Transactions jumped up by 333.33%
  • Revenue increased skyrocketed to 591.42%

Conclusion: 

In a market that is getting increasingly digital and mobile, it is quite evident that responsive web design is a must to remain ahead and make money.

If you need assistance making the right choice for your business, get in touch with us.

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