It happens almost every day. Existing clients or prospects call us and say they need a mobile app. In fact, most companies feel they can’t compete without a mobile app. At Lokion, we believe that businesses can’t compete effectively without a comprehensive mobile strategy.
While that strategy often includes an app, it almost always starts with making your website accessible to users from their mobile devices– and increasingly, the strategy is to begin with responsive web design.
Sites designed responsively will automatically format to a wide variety of screen sizes, from a smartphone to a desktop, and anything in between. Navigation, design and form layout gracefully shift and resize without breaking which ensures a site is usable and compelling, regardless of the device upon which it is viewed. Responsive design is not a fad–it is the way web design should be done. It offers a cost-effective way for businesses to get the most out of their web design effort and create efficiencies for ongoing content management.
Using responsive web design on your site is critical to your business. Here’s why:
- Mobile is no longer optional. As of February 2012, almost half (49.7%) of US mobile subscribers owned smartphones, according to Nielsen. And 44% of those users access the internet from their mobile device according to the Pew Research Center (Aug 2011). Check your site analytics to see how many users are accessing your site via a mobile device. If your site doesn’t perform well on their device of choice, customers are likely to move on to the next site. Even if your site just went through a redesign, if customers aren’t able to successfully use your site on their mobile device, there is still a compelling business case for implementing responsive web redesign.
- Apps only work on certain devices and operating systems. Think about the number of devices people use every day. In many living rooms you may find a netbook, an iPad (or other tablet), a smartphone and possibly a web-enabled television. Some of these devices utilize a mouse, some are touch-sensitive and others track motion for input. A potential customer may even be using a remote control to navigate through your site’s content. It’s simply not practical for most companies to develop applications for every device that a customer may own. With responsive web design, your site becomes a flexible experience that tailors itself to whatever device your customer chooses to use.
- Responsive web design saves you time and money. A well-implemented website with responsive design can keep business costs low by limiting duplicate efforts and simplifying long-term maintenance. Your site will work with multiple devices without redirecting users to different versions of the same site (e.g. m.cnn.com vs www.cnn.com). Having consistent URLs will also give you an SEO bonus.
- Responsive designs are future-proof. Given the rapid rate of change in the mobile device market, planning for what’s coming next is difficult. But one thing is for sure–the pervasiveness of mobile devices will continue to grow. In fact, Gartner estimates that by 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide. Designing with responsive concepts and tactics allows you to build a site that will look good on any number of devices and screen sizes…even devices that aren’t available yet. By embracing responsive design now, you make it more likely that your users will be able to view your content on next month’s or next year’s must-have device.
To see a responsive site in action, check out a site on your desktop PC and phone at the same time. Here are a two examples, one content heavy and one brand centric that really show the versatility of responsive design. To see how a site renders on multiple devices, check out this great tool.
Lokion’s site also illustrates how pages are rendered differently based on device type. The image on the left is what you might see on a smartphone. The center image is an example of what you might see on a tablet, and the image on the right is what the site looks like on a desktop machine.
While you’re here, please Say Hello and let us know if we can help with your next major redesign effort.This entry was posted in Lokion, Nimble and tagged android, Design, Ecommerce, html5, iphone, Mobile, responsive, Usability. Bookmark the permalink.