‘The key to long term success is the ability to adapt to change.’ This statement is true in all facets of life and business - and web design is no different. It’s safe to say that web design has changed dramatically with technology advancement in recent years however; it’s the changing behaviour of consumers that is the real driving force in 2013.
The way in which consumers access the internet has shifted quite significantly, with an ever increasing number of consumers accessing the internet through tablets and smartphones. However, it’s unwise to assume that those accessing the web via mobile are looking for the same information as they would on a desktop - even on the same website. This is where responsive design comes in.
What makes a design responsive?
Some argue that a responsive design is defined as ‘a website that responds to the dimensions of the screen that the site is viewed on.’ The magic here is that there is one website viewed differently on smartphones, tablets, desktops etc. However, others would say that a responsive design is a site that adapts the content to address the user’s needs when accessing the site from different sources.
There are many considerations when producing a responsive design as there is a lot more to it just changing the dimensions and moving content around. The content should be the main driver - what information to mobile users need to access? In the example of the National Rail Service for example, those accessing the site on a desktop may want to find detailed information, FAQ’S, news and announcements, season ticket information etc. However, those accessing through mobile will most likely be looking up train times in a ‘spur of the moment’ fashion.
When adopting a multiplatform approach, significant research should be carried out to analysing consumer behaviour and influence your designs. Call on the expertise of an experienced web design agency to get advice about responsive design and the aspects that you need to consider to make your site as relevant and accessible as possible regardless of how it is viewed.