SCREEN SIZES & ORIENTATIONS.
A myriad of new devices with new screen sizes are being developed every day, each with varying screen resolutions, definitions and orientations. For instance, the new Samsung Galaxy S8+ is headlining a 6.2-inch screen, and the iPhone 7 Plus RED Special Edition is making a color splash with a 5.5-inch screen. Being able to switch from a portrait to landscape display on a whim means web content must be adaptive. In addition to designing for both landscape and portrait (and enabling those orientations to possibly switch in an instant upon page load), hundreds of different screen sizes must be considered.
While mobile devices are changing the display landscape, with the appearance of more and more small screens, don’t forget what’s happening at the other end of the spectrum. Desktop displays are also getting larger and larger. Large, high-resolution displays are gaining popularity, and it would be a waste for web designers to not take advantage of this.
The changing landscape of web browsers has meant that users expectations have also changed. People expect to be able to browse the web on their phones just as easily as they browse the web on a desktop computer. As more people continue to use mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets, for every task that used to be only capable on desktop, one thing has become clear: mobile is taking over Internet surfing. And, it’s not even just surfing. It’s everything from browsing social media outlets, checking emails and doing some online shopping.
Because mobile Internet usage is increasing steadily, it’s extremely important that a company’s website is mobile friendly. In light of the widening diversity of screen sizes and resolutions, creating a different version of a website that targets each individual device is not a practical way forward. Is it possible to have a website that is equally favorable for both desktop and mobile users? This is the problem that responsive web design addresses head on.
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN.
A responsive web design takes into account the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. Responsive web design can handle both desktop and mobile users.
BUT IS IT OPTIMIZED FOR MOBILE?
In the business world, you have to stay ahead of the competition. So, if more and more users are using their mobile devices to search and make purchases online, businesses must cater to that audience by having a mobile-friendly site.
Companies have embraced responsive web design as the one-size-fits-all solution to mobile, tablet, and desktop sites. It’s a very practical approach to developing websites that render on any device. But when mobile tasks diverge from desktop tasks as they often do in commerce, the one-size-fits-all approach taken by most responsive retrofits may not satisfy customers on smartphones.
Why? People do different things on their smartphones than on their desktops. To best serve mobile device users, you need to give them exactly what they need to move forward in their immediate context. Responsive web design techniques alone don’t magically fix that. More often than not, users expect a different experience on smartphones, one that is task-oriented, loads instantaneously, uses the available real estate wisely, works with one hand, and delivers service directly into the full context of a consumer’s mobile web moment.
Mobile web design introduces a layer of complexity that can be difficult for some business teams. Responsive web design is more than just about being cross-browser; it’s also about being cross-platform. Suppose a mobile user will be viewing your website on a small screen. Taking the user’s needs into account doesn’t just mean adapting your content to the screen size. It also means thinking about what that mobile user will require first when visiting your website and then laying out the content accordingly. Maybe you’ll present the information in a different order. Don’t assume the user won’t need access to all the site information just because it’s on a mobile device. You might need to change the fonts or interaction areas to respond better to a touch environment. On smaller screens and minimized browsers, the navigation should be designed to be simpler. It can be simplified to just a drop-down menu, perfect for saving space without sacrificing critical navigation links. All these factors influence responsive web design. Having to serve both segments--desktop and mobile users--shouldn’t stop designers from being innovative on either.
STAY AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION
The shift to mobile is happening at an extraordinary speed. Chances are that you competitors aren’t making use of responsive designs, which means that they are losing out on potential customers. And, that is where you can stay ahead and take those customers away. The benefits are obvious: you build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens.
Google uses mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal in search results, rewarding websites that are fully optimized for mobile platforms. Today, Google lists responsive web design as their recommended industry-best-practice approach to supporting different devices and screen sizes. So multi-device support does not only help visitors to a website across a range of devices and screen sizes, it also has a positive impact on your overall search engine rankings.