Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the determinant that divides thriving brands with modest companies. The idea behind responsive design is keeping the user experience in mind, and how it may vary across every device. Creating a seamless interface helps to drive sales, website views, visit duration, and ultimately conversions. Understanding responsive design goes hand in hand with understanding mobile friendly and responsive sites.
Mobile friendly sites appear exactly the same across all devices (desktop, laptop, tablet and cellphone), but the page shrinks to fit on smaller screens. Text and images may be smaller and harder to read depending on how far the site has been scaled, but the page will generally look identical to the desktop view. This can easily be done to websites without elaborate animations, and images that can still be recognized at a smaller scale. This may also be the right fit for you if not many of your viewers are accessing your site from mobile devices, but desktop/laptops instead.
Mobile responsive sites are a type of RWD, where the webpages react to fit the device screen in which it is viewed on. The website will change in response, often including text and image resizing, spacing corrections, and horizontal menus converted to vertical under a 'hamburger' icon in top corners. Mobile responsive design can make your website load faster, and stacks the visual elements in the most comprehensive and visually appealing alternative. The fast way to determine whether a site operates as mobile friendly or mobile responsive is to pull up the webpage in a web browser and gradually shrink the window. If the site is mobile friendly, the contents of the page will continue to shrink in the same format. If the site is mobile responsive, you should begin to see the elements rearrange and condense to show the best columnal adaptation. If the website is neither mobile friendly or responsive, the contents will remain the same size as the window shrinks, and will enable two-way scrolling, both horizontally and vertically.
First of all, we love mobile responsive sites over mobile friendly sites because they give a foolproof solution. Instead of losing conversions over a mobile friendly site that may not be legible, or have miniscule images, mobile responsive sites act as a safety net and are visually pleasing regardless of the device. This gives your viewers the best possible interaction with your site according to how they like to search, and will increase viewership, visit time, and website conversions. Not integrating mobile responsive design might as well scream that you don't consider your customers, and a brand that doesn't consider their customers, is not a brand customers want to engage with. Think about it - customers can't buy your products if they can't see your products. Think of mobile responsive design as a preventative measure.
Second of all, customers love mobile responsive sites. In 2018, a study was conducted, finding that 52.2% of all web traffic was generated from mobile phones. Imagine if your site wasn't mobile responsive - you could be missing out on roughly 50% of your own search opportunities over customers leaving your unresponsive page. The statistics show that 85% of adults think a website should appear just as well (if not better) on a mobile device, and 38% of people admit they won't come back to a website if it appears unattractive.
Lastly, Google loves mobile responsive websites, as you've probably heard by now. In 2018, Google released their Mobile First Index which ranks mobile responsive websites as priority on search results. This could be the difference between appearing in the first page of google versus the fifteenth. Creating a mobile responsive site will not only benefit your users, but your brand as well. RWD not only increases loading speed, but supports your SEO rankings, and can increase your site visibility.
With the full integration of digital technology into the branding experience, Responsive Web Design is not only and expectation, but a must. Setting up a mobile responsive site is fairly simple with website building apps, and the outcomes don't need to look exorbitantly different. While only a subtle change to the user interface, an almost painless alteration for you can make or break the conversion of a new or potential prospect.