Nowadays while technology has become a part of everyday life it is essential to consider the wide range of devices that enable users to access internet. Consequently flexibility is a key to success of online businesses.
Like responsive architecture, a practice where the building adopts its form, shape or color responding to changes occurring on the environment, responsive web design is an approach that enables web designers to create one flexible layout that responds to user’s behavior – or point of view. Various articles have been written about responsive web design making us consider it as a hot topic, but is it truly the next big thing?
While some web designers claim that responsive design is the new big thing within the industry of web, there are some different thoughts that professionals should take into account before adopting new approaches.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is a different approach of web design as we know it today. What you actually can achieve is to create a flexible layout that dynamically fits into the screen of every device at any resolution, from desktop to laptop and from browser supported smartphones to retina displays and so on.
In fact, this can be done with an efficient use of media queries. The benefit here is obvious; this technique enables web developers to create one version of the website that fits all devices. Of course creating such flexible content requires more effort from both web designers and developers.
Is Responsive Web Design SEO Friendly?
Since all the on and off page factors are aligned with the best practices of search engine optimization then responsive web design is a search engine friendly method. Most importantly, responsive web design aims on delivering better experience to the user and this is truly valuable. If you want to read more on how to create an SEO friendly design you can read the article “30 tips for developing an SEO Friendly Design”.
Is Responsive web design user friendly?
The first thought is that responsive web design can be user friendly as it enables users to view their favorite content using various devices. The second thought is that focusing on user behavior as per the device of viewing the content; you realize that user has different needs. This means that the same information can be delivered with fewer words, fewer images or no images at all and of course more simple navigation.
Furthermore, when the website is commercial, it has specific goals and users are supposed to take specific actions. For example, a hotel’s website could start with a generic home page using big attractive images. The desktop user can realize the class of the hotel etc. A smartphone user may be more interested on finding easily a list of facilities, the contact info, a map and a booking form. In that case, we assume that a different version of the website could work better. The answer is yes, responsive web design can be user friendly, and nevertheless professionals must consider the effectiveness of this approach depending on the goals of the website.
What is your opinion on responsive web design?