Responsive Web Design: What It Is and Why You Need It

By Claire MacDonald

Design Director

Full Service Marketing Agency

What Is Responsive Web Design?

Our lives are filled with an ever-increasing and ever-evolving plethora of devices. Responsive web design is the practice of developing websites that respond to a user’s behaviour and environment – for example, their screen size, orientation and resolution – to give them the best possible user experience, regardless of how they are viewing the site. This involves implementing a whole host of different elements, from flexible grids and layouts, to varying image sizes, to allow the site to perform at its best regardless of whether it’s opened on a phone, tablet, monitor, or any other device.

Web Design

Why Is It Important?

Where responsive web design was once just a buzzword, a concept, it is now an essential facet of web development. Before the innovation of the smartphone, there was little need for such an innovative practice; the web could only be accessed from computers and there was little variation among models. Now, however, people are shifting their screen time from their desktops to their phones. In fact, over 50% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, a figure that’s only expected to grow. This means that over half of your customers could be accessing your website from their smartphones, therefore, it’s essential that your site is optimised for mobile, as it will otherwise be virtually unusable.

Accessing a website that is only designed for a certain screen size on a mobile device will result in a very small, stretched version of the site and, ultimately, visitors will likely leave instantly. Consumers want a website that is easy to navigate, and a UI that is effortless to use; if your website isn’t performing to these standards then your visitors will grow frustrated and exit the site. Not only does this project a poor, outdated image of your brand, but it will also undoubtedly lose you potential business.

Conversely, if responsive web design has been utilised in the development of your site, it will reliably offer seamless user experience on any device. It’s also incredibly important to note that usability contributes to your Google rankings – so, if your site is responsive, performing well and optimised appropriately, you’ll achieve a strong ranking from the outset, making potential customers significantly more likely to find your business offering and make a conversion.

How Do I Ensure My Site Is Optimised?

When choosing a web designer to create your site, or update your existing one, ensure that they understand responsive web design is a priority for you, and check that they have a proven track record of building high-performance websites. A good web designer should have a thorough understanding of optimisation across all platforms and designing for mobile as well as desktop. If you aren’t sure, it’s always a good idea to ask to see a portfolio – that way you can view other websites they’ve created and ensure they’re up to the standard you’re looking for.

At MacMartin, we’re experts in agile web design and specialise in creating show-stopping sites with outstanding performance and stunning design. We work closely with our clients to analyse their target market, assess their online behaviour, and build a bespoke site tailored to giving their customers the best possible user experience – across all platforms and devices. To find out more about our extensive web design services, click here, or view our portfolio here.

In Conclusion

Website design can be a complicated maze for you and your business to navigate. Responsive web design is key to a successful digital presence, but there are also a whole range of other fundamentals you need to consider, including SEO, hosting and maintenance. If you’re keen to update and elevate your current website, or you’d like to build a new one, make sure you have a friendly, expert web team behind you and your business will reap the rewards for years to come.

If you’d like to find out more about responsive web design or discuss a project, get in touch with us today, we’d love to help.