In a fast-paced digital age, owning just a single gadget seems to be not logical. Most people now would own at least a smartphone and a laptop. While some of us would even have multiple gadgets that would often include iPads, tablets, gaming devices, smart watches, among other things.
With this premise, consumer behavior then becomes very flexible and dynamic. There is a demand for most contents, if not all, to be viewed conveniently in all digital screens possible. With this shift in consumer behavior aided by the rapidly increasing volume of different digital devices, web design industries were put up to a challenge. Thus, the birth of responsive web design services.
What is Responsive Web Design?
According to Wikipedia, responsive web design is an approach to web design that enables every web page to render efficiently in various device screens of different sizes. Through this approach, digital contents mostly found on websites can be viewed by users more efficiently, without much of a difference from the originally intended design.
For example, web designs used to be just viewed through a computer or a laptop. So the web pages were tailored for the large screens of these devices. Before the introduction of the responsive web design, some of these websites and contents will appear just as the same when viewed through other screens like that of a mobile phone.
However, given the smaller screen and resolution of mobile and smartphones, viewing and surfing may be pretty exhausting. This may force consumers to zoom in and out of the web page, just to view the necessary details. This dilemma may backfire to business owners since potential customers may find the web page not user friendly. One annoyed customer is already a great business loss.
On the other hand, some companies having more resources and budget at their disposal, have resorted in implementing two versions of their websites. One is the web version, and the other one being the mobile version. Usually in this situation, the user or website visitor needs to click a button manually to change the entire layout. This may be reasonable at first but with more gadgets of varying screen sizes and resolutions today, is it practical to have a separate web design specifically and manually coded for every screen size?
But this problem can now be considered a thing of the past. Through responsive web design services, your website adapts to any screen size where it is viewed on. So it eradicates the need in creating separate web design for each device available in the market. More importantly, there is a greater chance that your business website can penetrate a wider market.
Responsive website vs Mobile Friendly Website
But there seems to be some confusion (at least to some people) between the concepts of responsive website and mobile friendly website. These two are sometimes used interchangeably although they are entirely different approaches to web design development.
Responsive website as mentioned above is a website that is capable of dynamic changes in its appearance depending on the screen size and orientation of a device being used. If you view a website that uses a responsive web design, all elements of the website including graphics and texts will adjust to a user’s screen. In this way, a website visitor does not have to do anything but browse conveniently at his or her own pace.
On the other hand, a mobile friendly website is a website that can be viewed conveniently through a mobile or smartphone. However, this does not guarantee that it will have the same efficient appearance and resolution when viewed with other devices of larger screens.
Basically, a responsive website can be mobile friendly since the appearance adjusts automatically. But a mobile friendly website does not automatically equate to a responsive website because it may not be user friendly when using devices other than a mobile phone.
A business owner in need of a web design can always choose to have separate web designs for every screen size he can think of. But wouldn’t it make more sense, economic and time-wise, to just use responsive web design services? Afterall, being practical is the name of the game.