Responsive design (RWD) is an approach to building websites that provides an optimal viewing experience across a range of different screen sizes, from desktop to mobile. Although in it’s early stages, RWD has rapidly become an industry-standard method of developing mobile-friendly websites. As mobile devices are becoming the primary means of online browsing, more organizations are realizing the importance of providing the best viewing experience possible across a wide variety of devices and screen sizes. For organizations considering mobile options, let's consider how responsive design can help your organization:
Provide a device-agnostic experience
One of the main advantages to a responsively designed site is that it can provide a consistent user experience across many devices and screen sizes.
A survey conducted by Morgan Stanley found that more than 90 percent of smartphone owners have their devices within arm's length 24/7, suggesting that people are more likely to use their devices to browse websites on the fly rather than sit down at a laptop or desktop computer.
In 2012, Google predicted that 1 billion people worldwide will use mobile devices as their primary Internet access point. A separate Google study found that 90 percent of smartphone searches end in some type of action, like a purchase or a visit to a business, making it critical that organizations have websites designed with smartphones in mind.
Responsive design enables organizations to support audience browsing habits, regardless of the device being used.
According to Search Engine Watch (SEW), 67 percent of consumers claim they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website than a website that is not. Small Business Trends reported that according to a Pew study, 45 percent of American adults own a smartphone and 31 percent own a tablet. Not only have mobile sales surpassed desktop computer sales, but SEW explained that mobile Internet usage is predicted to overtake that of desktops by 2014.
Showcase your content
Associations have an extraordinary amount of content to engage their audiences, and their website visitors want to share it with friends and colleagues. Responsive design makes it easier for content to be found, be shared, and go viral, creating the opportunity for your organization to be subject matter experts.
According to Google, a single URL for all content makes it easier for members and website visitors. This approach results in reduced load times and error-prone redirections that can hamper an organization's overall user experience. Also, a single URL makes it easier for Google to assign proper indexing algorithms for the content.
Instead of having to separately develop and manage content for multiple websites, associations with responsive design can consolidate these aspects into one unified site. Without responsive design, organizations risk frustrating their website visitors, who are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to search for and engage with web materials. By embracing this mobile strategy, associations can drive member satisfaction, website traffic and, ultimately, revenue.