Why Is Responsive Design Important?

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Prior to beginning my job at Launch Digital Marketing, I had never heard of “responsive” website design. Now—as one of the most important considerations when building a modern, accessible site—I hear about it almost every day. So what is responsive design? A responsive website is built with the intent of being user friendly on all screen sizes, including smart phones, iPads, laptops, and desktops. By user friendly, I am referring to a user’s ability to navigate a website without having to zoom in, zoom out, or move the page around on their screen in order to fully interact with the site. On a website built with responsive design, images, forms, menus, and content shrink and expand to accomodate the screen size the user is viewing it on.

Why is Responsive Website Design Important for Website Owners?

More and more web traffic is coming from mobile devices today, so it’s important to ensure that your site is optimized for a mobile user’s experience. I regularly use my iPhone to surf the internet several times throughout the day, whether it be for browsing restaurant menus to decide what I feel like eating, researching information for work, catching up on the latest news, or anything else I’m seeking information on at the moment. I have always found it extremely annoying when I have to zoom in, scroll, zoom out, scroll—only to scroll too much and lose my spot on the page I am trying to read. What I find even more annoying is trying to fill out an online form when I have to zoom and scroll on the page. I often reach a point of such aggravation that I give up completely or just pick up the phone to call instead. Now that I am familiar with the concept of responsive design, I get even more frustrated with websites that aren’t built for all screen sizes and media devices.

Non responsive Web Design

Howl at the Moon: Before and After

The images you see here were taken on a mobile phone, before (top image) and after (bottom image) a recent responsive site launch for our client Howl at the Moon. I think it’s obvious which one would provide the better user experience on a phone! The responsive version, when viewed on a phone, is cleaner and readily provides the user with the information he is probably seeking on his mobile device.

I am very excited to be able to utilize and learn about responsive website design as part of my daily job, especially as it is still in the early stages. I have found that there are so many major corporations that have been around for decades who have jumped on the smartphone app bandwagon, but have yet to convert to responsive website design.

Eventually, I believe responsive web design will become a standard in the online community. In today’s society, almost everyone has a smart phone. Having a responsive website invites more visitors, keeps them on your website longer, and provides them the full user experience that should be your website’s primary goal!

Responsive Design

Meet Dawn Hughes

Dawn lives in Romeoville, IL with her husband and two daughters, and is an Assistant Web Developer at Launch. She enjoys the beach, going camping and enjoys spending time in nature as long as the weather is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.