Responsive design: what it is and why you should be doing it

October 9, 2012 in Digital Marketing

You don’t need me to tell you that everyone has a phone. Odds are you’re probably not reading this on a desktop computer, but on a phone or tablet.

Check the analytics for your site, can you afford to not consider mobile access when putting together your site?

Rather than make a separate site for mobile, designers are simply adding some fancy code (CSS3) to make the page layout respond to the device you’re on.

For example, drop down menus are terribly irritating on phones and tablets, especially if it means you have to scroll down to see all the options. Your best bet is to keep this in mind from day one, that way you won’t have to make many changes to the mobile/tablet versions.

an example of responsive design

The Boston Globe, as displayed on a variety of devices

The above picture shows how the Boston Globe have tackled the issue. The layout is only slightly altered between devices, it is still very clearly the same site with the same visual identity.

The phone displays stories as a list, rather than showing a photo gallery, and the most important functions are prioritised.

If you make an entirely separate site for mobile, you are creating twice the work for yourself.

This is the next big thing in the design-for-web world. Would you like to be the first or last person to jump on board?