By now, you’ve probably heard about how mobile device usage has skyrocketed in the past couple years. With this insane growth, comes a lot more people browsing websites on the web. When most people think of the mobile web experience, they think of people frantically looking up addresses and store hours on their iPhones at stoplights. However, that’s not always the case. As phones get getting quicker and more convenient, people are actually using them more and more in place of their regular computers. If you think about it, I bet you can remember a time in the not-so-distant past when you grabbed your phone to quickly look something up online, rather than taking the time to walk over to your computer.
The current mobile experience
Up until recently, if you wanted to give your users a mobile experience, you had to build a separate mobile site. Not only can building and maintaining a separate mobile site be expensive and tough to maintain, it can also be an awkward experience, as the site is often structured differently than the “full” desktop version of the site. As mobile usage increases, people are beginning to expect richer website experiences on their mobile phones. Having to pinch and zoom sites just doesn’t produce a smooth browsing experience. If we want people to take time interacting with our sites, we’ve gotta find a way to give them a better mobile experience.
So what if you could have one site that serves up both desktop, mobile, and even tablet-optimized experiences?
Now you can. Enter responsive web design.
A new and improved mobile experience
Responsive design is a relatively new type of website design that is gaining a lot of steam, and becoming very popular. In a responsive design the site layout (and even content) is designed to change based on the size of the device it is being viewed on. A responsive website uses the same code for both mobile and desktop experiences, but includes additional styling that detects browser window sizes and alters the display accordingly. In fact, you can give it a try right now by resizing our site and checking out how the content layout changes as the browser window gets smaller.
Responsive design isn’t the answer for every site, but for a basic informational site, it can be a great way to go. It usually costs a little extra, since there is additional design, code, styling and testing to get it right. However, a responsive site is still significantly more cost efficient than creating and maintaining two separate sites.
A few samples
Want to see more responsive design in action? Check out a few of the sites below:
To view even more responsive sites, you can check out Mediaqueri.es, a gallery showcasing dozens and dozens of responsive sites.