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January 6, 2014

Going Responsive

Responsive design is about crafting futureproof sites which resize automatically for desktop, tablet and mobile

Why is Responsive Design Important?

The way we view the internet has changed dramatically over the last five years with smartphones and tablets making up a serious percentage of traffic views, a trend which shows no signs of slowing down. To ignore over 25% of your audience would be a significant loss, and increasingly we are seeing businesses begin to switch to responsive websites to address this issue.

Benefits of Responsive Design For Users

The main advantage is accessibility. The greater the access the greater the potential audience which is pretty simple stuff, but at BLACKLIGHT we ask ourselves another question – what about the experience when you get there? Responsive design means that, if done well, text is always readable, there are no awkward controls or movements required and links are easy to see and easier to click on.

The main advantage is accessibility… But BLACKLIGHT we ask ourselves another question – what about the experience when you get there?

Everything is tailored to maximising brand experience whether at home on a desktop or out and about with a smartphone. If a user has to wait too long for a traditional/non-responsive website to load on a mobile device chances are they will leave your site and look elsewhere. Good responsive websites will load quicker on mobile as they have been optimised for each device. In short, there is no barrier to a better experience of online content aside from no signal!

Benefits of Responsive Design For Businesses

Cost: The first advantage of Responsive Design is cost. Previously you would have a standard website and, if budget permitted, a unique mobile version would also be created to fill in the gap. Responsive design eliminates having to build two websites reducing the cost in the short term. The other cost benefit is a long-term view – only one website has to be updated with new content, products or media.

Accessibility: Lets look at some other benefits – in a recent survey 61% of people said they have a better opinion of a brand when they offer a good mobile experience. Lets combine this with some other figures for a moment – over 20% of Google searches happen on a mobile device with 25% of internet use coming from this. Looking at these ever-rising stats shows the importance of responsive design and having your website designed responsively will give your audience a greater experience of your brand at a lower overall cost.

Google-friendly: Responsive Design is also cited by Google as industry best practice, and with (currently) a 67% search engine market share this is worth taking note of. Google looks favourably on responsive websites as having just the one website makes it easier and quicker for the Google robots to index and organise your website and we all know the benefits of being recognised by Google.

Future-proofing: All this isn’t going away – smartphones and tablets are not just a fad. Whether you have a website or are just starting out, responsive design is the best web practice for future-proofing your brand.

Designing for the Future

At BLACKLIGHT we’ve been making responsive websites since 2011 and the changes and advancements over the last few years have been enormous. Sometimes it is difficult to tell what sites are responsive at a glance. Creating great brands is at the heart of everything BLACKLIGHT strive for and to make a professional, engaging website requires consistency across all media.

We see it like a house of cards – one bad experience and the brand falls, but a consistently great experience and your brand stands up as a thing of wonder. We don’t profess responsive design to be perfect. We’ve been both watching and actively involved in the continued growth and development of responsive websites and are very optimistic about the future of responsive design, both the short and long term benefits to our clients.

There are still challenges to creating great responsive websites, but at BLACKLIGHT we think that problems are just opportunities in disguise.

Got any questions?

Got a great new project in mind or want to freshen up your branding? If you’d like to hear more about what BLACKLIGHT can offer your business why not get in touch.

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