Responsive design is an essential part of website design in 2015. It is a web design building technique that gives users an easy to use and read website version regardless of the mobile device being used to view it. The uptake and the use of mobile devices and tablets for viewing website content has increased massively over the course of the past year, it is becoming easy to browse while out and about, while commuting or even in front of the TV to surf the Internet on a mobile device.
As a result of this, expectations for the mobile experience are also rapidly changing, no longer will users accept having to pinch and zoom in order to browse parts of the website, and to tap with the very tip of their finger on a minuscule web link then having to go back because they tapped on the one above accidentally.
Highlighting the importance of this from April 21, 2015 Google enacted large changes to its ranking algorithm with respects to the mobile friendliness of a website. As of the date of this post those changes are fast rolling out on websites that are not’s mobile friendly are being penalised, that is they are being dropped far down search rankings.
So my website is not mobile friendly, so what?
With upwards of 50% of all traffic to a website now being via a mobile device, this alone is a massive reason to ensure that your website passes Google’s test and is mobile friendly. If people can’t search for you on a mobile device because suddenly your website has been penalized, you will lose that traffic and that will really begin to add up.
Go and check your Google analytics or other website reporting software and you should be out to see exactly how much your website traffic is via a mobile device (bear in mind tablets too are considered mobile devices).
This change has been enforced because Google wants to ensure that web visitors get a user friendly experience even on a small mobile phone.
Generally and basically speaking responsive design is a structure that allows an adaptive website to be created – one that responds to what is being viewed with. So instead of being wide like a typical website being viewed on a desktop computer, on a mobile phone that same website will have its content reorganised more like a tower.
At natiive all our web site projects for the past year or so have been developed and delivered around a responsive framework. But for the many sites online that are not mobile friendly, this update has to be viewed as one of the necessary maintenance upgrades or feature upgrades that just has to be done. It should be part of an online awareness strategy, so that you understand those key elements that your website needs in order to be working for you.