Responsive Web Design: Why Your Business Needs It

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Firas Kittaneh
Firas Kittaneh
Responsive Web Design: Why Your Business Needs It

There is one thing you forgot in your site’s last redesign, and you pay dearly for that mistake every day.

As involved as you are with your brand, you are still unable to identify the elusive error, yet nearly one-third of your customers recognize the problem each time they visit your website. Your unresponsive website fails to provide a meaningful experience for your mobile audience.

In February, Marketing Land’s Greg Sterling reported, “Overall, mobile devices were responsible for 30 percent of traffic [in 2013].” For entrepreneurs making a living off of the internet, that is a significant chunk of visitors who view your website on their smart phone or tablet. Sterling also adds that mobile devices were responsible for “15 percent of online orders” last year. It goes without saying that sites that neglect responsive web design convert far fewer mobile users.

If Your Website is Not Responsive, You Are Leaving a Lot of Money on The Table

According to eMarketer, mobile commerce is expected to grow to the tune of $86.86 billion in 2016. As more and more consumers utilize their phones and tablets to make purchases, responsive design will play an increasingly important role in driving greater sales for your business.

Indeed, we live in a mobile world. CNN’s James O’Toole noted, “mobile devices accounted for 55% of Internet usage in the United States in January.” It is a fact that many of your visitors stumble upon your site while on their preferred mobile device. That said, if your website is not designed with mobile in mind, then you have unknowingly subjected potential customers to a frustrating experience that requires finger dragging, pinching, and zooming.

Though one can hope they may make a note-to-self to revisit your site when they have access to a desktop computer, that is wishful thinking in our instant gratification society. People will forget to give your business a second look if they had an underwhelming or even frustrating first experience.

More than ever, having a mobile-responsive website is necessary in order for a web business to succeed. eMarketer also reported, in 2014, the global smartphone audience will total 1.75 billion people. The marketing research firm also predicts that figure will grow to 2.5 billion by 2017. As mobile adoption increases, customers will lose tolerance for websites that fail to keep up with ever-evolving digital standards.

See What Others Are Doing and Find Inspiration in Elegant Design

Albert Costill for Search Engine Journallisted 25 responsive design sites that may inspire you to reinvent your existing website so it is beautiful and functional on any visitor’s device.

Responsive Web DesignImage credit: Used under license.

But by simply looking at screenshots of responsive websites, you’re missing out on a critical part of the user experience: how the website actually feels to a visitor. So, take the time to pull out your smart phone or tablet and visit some of your favorite sites. Notice the ones that are responsive and those that aren’t?

Explore those sites in-depth, clicking through to their blog, viewing product pages and even reading their “About Us” page. Remember any features you liked or disliked and be sure to emulate good design.

Experiencing the difference between a website built with responsive design and another without, you quickly realize how your site is missing out on a golden opportunity.

Remember to Stress The Little Details That Matter to Your Users

Here is a short list of factors to consider when making your site fully responsive.

  • Consistent branding: Ensure your readers feel right at home, whether they visit your site using their desktop computer, tablet, or smart phone.
  • Easy checkout: Streamline the mobile shopping experience to convert more visitors.
  • Flawless image quality: With customers’ small screens, prepare to offer vivid visual experiences worth remembering.
  • Legible font size and wrapped text: Make everything readable, simple as that.
  • Optimize for scrolling or swiping: Mobile users don’t want to drag, pinch, or zoom to view a webpage so design your site with their mobile consumption habits in mind.
  • Site performance and speed: Manage how quickly your pages load so your website does not burn through mobile data plans or cause frustrated visitors to leave before engaging with your site.

The more you agonize over the fine details that create a seamless experience for your customers, the more you will reap the rewards of hard work done.

Finally, name a few responsive websites you admire. In the comments, also tell us what you love about their design!


Featured Image: Piotr Adamowicz via Shutterstock

Firas Kittaneh

Firas Kittaneh

CEO & founder at OCLU

Firas Kittaneh is a serial entrepreneur, marketer and writer. Since 2006, he's been the co-founder and CEO of Amerisleep, an ... [Read full bio]