Do I Need a Responsive Design?

For anyone who owns or runs a website, there is one fact that is certain- visitors no longer only visit from a PC.  Mobile devices like phones and tablets are quickly becoming the most important medium on the internet, and for web designers this is vital.  The majority of designers start their planning and designing by sitting at a desk in front of a nice big monitor to display their current web project.

But the reality for their visitors is something different, but it’s vital.  You see a website looks very different on a 30″ high resolution monitor than it does on a 4″ phone, or a 12″ tablet.  Which is of course vital, if you visit a site on your iPhone and it scrolls down on to 10 pages, or the sides overlap and are difficult to read – you will probably go to another site.

So what’s the solution? Well the primary importance is to make your website design look great on every devices, or at least make it look reasonable.  This is called responsive design and basically it just means that the web site will alter to suit the medium it is being viewed on.

That means that your display will narrow on a smart phone, the columns will adjust and the display switch depending on orientation of the device.   It may not be perfect viewing for a web site but the reality is that people are using these devices to visit sites in their millions.  It’s important, I once visited a site which streamed popular video and TV channels, all a bit dodgy but big business. The problem was that all these videos were set at specific resolution and set areas, which worked great on a pc monitor.  But try and access and watch ITV in Spain using this site on any other device and it was a nightmare, you had to scroll to the side to see most of the screen.

So dear readers, make sure your web site is responsive, if not thousands of your visitors will see a completely different website than you designed.