As a designer, you most likely have heard the term “responsive design”. Responsive design gained a lot of popularity in the UX & UI design community in the past recent times that some even believe it is just a fad-like trend.
So designers dismiss it. And they were wrong.
Responsive design is not a fad. It is not even a trend. We can argue that responsive design is one fundamental principle of UX (and even UI), but so fundamental that it is as equally important as other design principles such as usability (responsive design actually improves the usability of your website).
If you’re not sure what responsive design is, or why you should adopt a responsive design for your business or personal website, this article is for you. Let’s begin!
What is Responsive Design, Again?
Responsive design is pretty simple – it is simply where websites are designed in such a way that it will automatically resize its content – such as logos, banners and buttons – to fit the screen size your website is being viewed from.
If you are using a mobile device, visited a website and the website’s entire layout is scattered, it’s too big (or too small) and needs constant resizing on your part, you know you are not using a responsive design. And yes, it’s annoying!
Hence, the goal of responsive design is to adjust your website size so that your users won’t have a hard time using your website on their mobile device – and don’t risk annoying them in the process. But what could be worse? In some cases, an unresponsive design can disappear buttons when viewed on smaller screens. If that website is an online store, imagine the horror of losing sales because the “Buy” button magically disappears? Poof!
That alone should give you the motivation to adopt responsive design to your business, but if you want to know other benefits of investing your efforts in making a responsive design, keep on reading below.
5 Good Reasons Why You (Really) Should Use Responsive Design on Your Website
Aside from adaptability to different screens, here’s what responsive design can do for your website.
1) It is mobile-friendly
Actually, responsive design is really made for mobile devices and other devices with smaller screen compared to a personal computer laptop. This is because, by default, all websites are made for the size of a PC or laptop’s screen. Internet browsing on mobile devices is just a relatively young trend, so many websites before (and even after) mobile device came into the Internet world are not prepared to resize to smaller screens.
Responsive design simply solves this problem by being adaptable to devices.
Note: strictly speaking, responsive design is different from mobile-friendly design. A responsive design is mobile-friendly as it fits into any screen sizes, while a mobile-friendly device is not even necessarily a responsive design and could be bad for larger screens.
2) Increased traffic (and retention) from mobile users
Because responsive design is mobile-friendly, mobile users are encouraged to browse your website, knowing that they don’t need to deal with the zoom-and-resize trouble unresponsive design often gives them.
Assuming they like your website in general, they are more likely to stay on your website as they enjoy the smooth user experience.
3) It is less expensive in the long run
Because you are only operating and editing one website, it reduces your cost – money-, time- and effort-wise. If you don’t use a responsive design and you want to meet the demands of usability for mobile device, you will be forced to make two websites – hence, added expenses on money and it takes more time and effort in handling them both.
4) Improved SEO
If your users enjoy your website, so is the SEO algorithm – and it will rightly reward you for it. One way to increase your SEO ranking is by increasing your website’s retention. Because more mobile users are engaged on your website, thanks to your responsive design, your retention will eventually increase – so is your SEO ranking.
Simply put, SEO rewards user-friendly website. A good website for users is often a good website for SEO. On the other hand, a bad website for users is a bad website for SEO.
5) Easily manageable
If you are running a business, you don’t need to hire another design to handle your “for mobile use” website because you will only be running one flexible website. On the other hand, this is also good for your developer as he/she does not need to handle two websites separately if he/she can handle both of them at once.
Responsive Design is Not Everything
Despite all of these, it is important and fair to say that responsive design is not everything. It is not a one-for-all solution type.
In some cases, responsive design may not be a feasible option, and making another website dedicated to mobile use is better. For instance, if you want a totally different website for mobile users, it’s better if you just create a new website for that.
However, if you are not using responsive design because you think it is not important or that it is just a fad, we hope this article helped you reconsider your thoughts on responsive design.