Website03 JANUARY 2015

As we move into 2015 it’s the perfect time to address “Responsive Web Design”.

Before we get into it, let’s start by defining what we actually mean when we say “Responsive Web Design”.

Responsive Web Design is a rather new term that has been brought about due to the increase in usage of mobile devices and tablets.

Browsing webpages on tablets and mobiles can be a rather agonising experience in which you end up squinting your eyes while trying to pinch your way around the website trying to zoom in. This is what is called poor “user experience”, and you should be worried about it. On average, 67% of mobile users are less likely to stay on a website that is not responsive. This converts into what is known as a bounce rate; users and potential customers immediately clicking away from your website to hopefully find something that is easier to navigate.

Well for starters, you might notice that if you visit Studiohawk on a different device some things may change, such as the layout matching the resolution of your device and the menu system changing to what’s known as a ‘Hamburger’, which allows you to click on menu items easier and without them clogging up the limited screen space of the mobile device.

But not only is our website doing it, it is becoming more and more popular as people start to realise the value of it. Increasingly websites are becoming responsive or at least starting to cater to mobile users, as they are a growing consumer base. On this website alone, 38% of all the visitors are using a tablet or a mobile, therefore it is important to cater to them also.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a term that is thrown around a lot lately. Gone are the days of artificially boosting your search engine rankings. The best way to do it now is organically, by making good content and providing a great experience for the users of your website. Google and some other major search engines establish if a website has good user experience by checking if they are catering to different screen sizes (i.e. Responsive Design).

No – if you develop a website with responsiveness in mind, we can do it along the way, significantly reducing the time it takes us to finish the actual responsive design, and as a result, the amount that you pay.

Responsive Design is going to continue to skyrocket well into 2015 and beyond, and its usefulness in terms of user experience cannot be understated. In the future we will only see more mobile users – it would be a shame to potentially lose those users and potential customers.

Comments

  1. Rowan Smith

    First off, extraordinary article, you really hit the nail on the head, and I will be showing this to all my fellow web developers.

    I have a question though, what do you think of making responsive websites targeted at a specific device? for example if I made a website using the iPhone 5’s viewpoint? I’m just wondering if it would be better to design for a certain device and have others adapt to it, because for our website, the iPhone 5 is the most common device (even more common than desktops!)

    • Harry

      Hi Rowan,

      Thanks for your feedback on the article, I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

      Regarding your question, you shouldn’t be designing a website for one particular device.
      The whole reason that you would make a responsive website is so that any user with any (realistic) device can come on the website and have a good experience.
      Designing for only one type of device doesn’t really accomplish this, even if your primary audience are iPhone users, you are missing out on other users that aren’t.

      Cheers, Harry

      • Joshua Emerson

        Our old web developer told us that we needed several different designs for different layouts, and he charged us for having both an iPhone and an Android version, is that true? or was he just ripping us off….

        • Harry

          Hey Joshua,

          While it is true that you need to make different ‘layouts’, designing for an iPhone and an Android are both the same, and should in no way be a separate charge unless they are designing the website SPECIFICALLY for the two different devices (which is very bad practice as there are many different phones and having the website cater to just a handful of them doesn’t work very well).

          I hate to say it, but you may very well be getting ripped off, shoot me an email and I will have a look at it for you, free of charge 🙂 – harry@studiohawk.com.au

          Cheers, Harry

  2. Craig

    I’m seriously looking into doing this for my business, however everywhere I go they are quoting me 2-3 thousand dollars (dreamconsultancy, yolkdesigns and a few others in Melbourne), even though you say it doesn’t cost ‘an arm and a leg’, how do you define that? Or better yet, How much would you guys charge for this service?

    • Harry

      Hi Craig,

      Some studios will generally overcharge you for this kind of work.

      When I say it wont cost you an arm and a leg I mean that it is a relatively low cost exercise that is almost guaranteed to reduce your bounce rate as well as get you more customers.

      To be honest with you, it is hard to give you a ballpark figure as I don’t know the size of your website nor the complexity of it. You would probably be looking at around $200 to make it responsive.

      If you would like a more in depth figure, send me an email at harry@studiohawk.com.au

      Cheers, Harry

      • Craig

        Just sent one, thanks.

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