It's a brave new world – a multi-screen world. The decline in desktop computer sales and the persistent rise in tablet and smartphone sales presents both a challenge and opportunity for online B2B communication. It's rather simple: when circumstances (that is screen sizes) change, your website needs to change with them! Entrepreneurs find themselves in a tricky situation: their websites have to look great on a deluge of devices: internet-ready television sets, smartphones, tablets and whatever comes next. Browsing the internet no longer involves sitting in front of a desktop computer. It happens while sitting on the couch watching TV, on the way to work or during meetings, in short, everywhere at any given time. This means websites have to look just as great on a small screen as on a big one. In fact, studies reveal that mobile access is overtaking desktop internet browsing. Websites designed with desktop computer use in mind often don't function correctly on mobile devices. Another annoyance is that sites not optimized for mobile use need horizontal scrolling. This creates a poor user experience detrimental to sales.
Apps & Mobile Sites: The Solution?
There are various ways for dealing with this. In the past years, apps and mobile sites have been a solution commonly referred to. The problem, of course, is that not only double such strategies development and maintenance costs, but they also break with continuity. A unified design is paramount to brand recognition and allows for easy navigation. More and more users switch between devices when accessing the web within the same day. They might browse a site on their way to work and return to the site on their laptop later that day. Both the website's URL as well as design and layout should be the same to allow for a quick navigation and an all-in-all pleasant user experience.
There is another reason why a one-design-fits-all-devices approach is absolutely essential: Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Sites that are not optimized for mobile access won't do well in mobile search. In ranking search results, site quality is a big factor. Not having a website optimized for mobile access is therefore like leaving money on the table. The more effort a user has to exert, the less likely he is to complete a conversion.
Responsive WebDesign: One Fits All
Instead of developing separate sites for desktop, mobile and tablet screens, responsive web design presents the best solution for dealing with various screen sizes, browsers and system softwares. The creation process thus shifts from designing for a specific size to building a user interface. This brings with it undeniable advantages. Users still prefer websites over native apps for making purchases. Instead of creating and maintaining various websites and apps, this effort can be used more efficiently in one solution. Therefore, responsive design conserves internal resources while providing a more consistent experience across various devices.
Responsive however doesn't solely refer to keeping in mind customers' devices, but to the customers as well. What do customers want when they access a site on a desktop computer and what do they expect when accessing the same page on a mobile device? They surely expect a unified experience. However, not all information that fits on a big screen suits a small one. No matter the screen size, central information or the most important features must be immediately recognizable to the user. This doesn't automatically call for a drastic cut in content. A majority of smartphone users prefer to browse the web instead of making a purchase. Thus, just because a screen is smaller doesn't mean people won't read texts or watch videos on it.
The advantages of responsive design:
- higher conversion and lower bounce rates
- increased online ranking (SEO)
- lower development and maintenance costs
- unified online presence
As a full service agency, W4 can optimize your exiting web design for an all-device access or create and realize a completely new marketing and conversion strategy that includes all aspects of responsive design, from content creation and design to programming. Get in touch!