I know what you’re thinking.
Kim is throwing another technical web design term at us and we don’t need to know what this means. My web designer handles all of that, right?
Nope. I believe knowledge is power and there are things that I can teach you that are not only simple for you to understand, but vital for you to know.
Responsiveness is an easy concept. Let’s say you are viewing a website on your desktop and then later view that same website on a cell phone. That website might not look the same on both devices.
On the desktop site, there might be a horizontal navigation, animation, and additional content. Whereas the mobile site might be simpler, vertically stacked, and easy to navigate with your thumb.
Each device has a width that is measured in pixels. More pixels = wider screen. Responsive design adapts to the pixel width of each device and optimizes the content based on the width of that device.
Cellphones have fewer pixels in width, therefore cannot display as much content as a desktop monitor. Tablets are somewhere in between.
Behold the power of responsive design!
Before responsive design, the full version of the website would display regardless of the device. In order to fit the reduced width of the cellphone, the content would be too small to read. You’d have to zoom in to read – not a good user experience!
So Kim, why do I need to care?
Times have changed and your website will be read on mobile devices at least 50% of the time. It had better look good on mobile!
Unfortunately, not every designer considers mobile in their design. If they do, it’s not a priority. Mobile needs to be a priority.
– The most important content needs to be at the top of the site, especially on mobile.
– It needs to be legible without the user zooming in.
– The user should be able to easily click on links.
As the site owner, you not only need to check for these three things once the site has been completed, but you must also actively plan for them.
When giving your content to your designer, please think about the placement of the content.
-Are you really starting with the content that will SELL your services?
-How about the images? Are you requesting too many images on the site?
-How will the images look like vertically staked?
– Are there too many call to actions? Too many links?
So now you know what responsive design is and what to look for.