Did you know that in 2019, approximately 52% of users worldwide use a mobile device for internet browsing? This is in comparison with desktop browsing at 45% and tablet browsing at 4%. Although just over half of the population leaning towards mobile devices may not seem very drastic, this figure compares with one of 2015, when desktop browsing was the principal method, holding around 60% of user preference.
What do these statistics show?
It is a well-known fact that mobile phones are taking over the digital landscape. On a mobile device, website pages load faster, video streaming is easier and your social media content is all located in one place. You can switch between watching videos on YouTube to placing an order on Amazon in a matter of seconds. Therefore, more and more users are choosing the simple life of mobile browsing with each passing day. In a couple of years, we can guarantee that the statistics will have changed once again and perhaps mobile devices will have increased their internet share to above 60%.
What does this have to do with website design?
In short, websites have always been created to reflect the design and layout of a desktop or laptop screen. With the rise of mobile browsing, web developers are therefore required to create a design that is adaptive for all devices. This can include desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile phones, including both Apple and Android systems. To create a separate website version for each device would be expensive and exhaustive of your business’ resources, so this is where responsive web design proves useful.
Responsive web design aims to follow user behaviour, with the view that webpages should adapt depending on:
Screen size of the device. Size of text and images should adjust accordingly, in order not to appear too large and overbearing or too small and difficult to read.
Orientation. Desktop screens are typically horizontal whereas mobiles are vertical. All content needs to be able to jump between both orientations quickly and smoothly.
Platform. The layout, resolution and scripting abilities differ according to the platform, including Apple iOS and Android systems.
Responsive web design relies on the use of clever HTML and CSS media queries. Web developers aim to create flexible grids, layouts and images, in order to respond to the needs of each individual user.
What are the benefits of using responsive web design?
The journey of browsing content across your website should be a seamless and positive experience, and the objective of responsive design is to ensure that your audience is not put off by technicalities or an overly-complex navigation system. If users were required to change their device settings themselves to adapt to your website, it is more than likely they would leave very quickly. This gives your website a much higher bounce rate, and subsequently, fewer conversions or sales for your business.
With Google’s introduction of mobile-first indexing, this has placed importance on websites that are optimised primarily for mobile access. Google not only crawls and indexes desktop websites, but instead now places focus on the importance of mobile optimisation. Your website is much more likely to rank higher in search engines results if you have a responsive web design for mobile and tablet devices. This can bring a whole new audience for business alone.
For more information about responsive web design, visit our services page here, or feel free to do your own research online! There are a wealth of articles highlighting how responsive websites can impact your business for the better. The results speak for themselves!