As Google announces that it values web sites that can work across a range of devices – from smartphones to tablets to desktops – the search engine’s clearly sending out a strong message: no one who’s serious about their business can afford to ignore Reponsive Design anymore.
Although Responsive’s been around for a number of years and is highly convenient for consumers, as the sites respond to whatever device happens to be browsing it due to specific coding, it’s not yet been fully embraced by the mainstream. Of course, there are always the early adopters, but there’s many a cynical and cautious owner of an established SME who doesn’t feel it’s necessary to invest the extra time and money into getting their sites updated.
However, this reluctance to play catch up could be hugely damaging for businesses when it comes to sales and the bottom line. Think about it – how often have you been in that intensely annoying situation where you’ve ended up viewing a site built for a desktop that’s totally un-adapted to your device? Lots of fiddling around with oversized fonts means you get bored, move on and decide not to buy – which is bad news for the seller.
And now that Google’s officially come out and admitted earlier this year that one-URL websites are actually favoured in mobile search, if you’re an online business with a product to sell it’s hard to ignore.
After all, Google’s updated best-practices guide says that:
“Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices.“
So it’s evident that improving user experience is vital for businesses going forward.
Unwillingness to adapt will undoubtedly make a massive difference to your business’s revenue – just for starters, forecasts say there will be some one trillion dollars generated via mobile transactions. Plus, the majority of adults own a mobile phone and over half use it to access the web.
Furthermore, about 79 percent of people will quickly leave a website due to poor performance, especially when viewing a non-responsive website on a smartphone. So when some 28 percent of traffic is coming from mobile devices/smartphones/tablets it doesn’t take a genius to work out that that’s potentially an enormous amount of sales that businesses could be missing out on.
As mobile marketing is set to take off in a big way, Responsive Design should be a priority for those companies with an eye on their bottom line. Equally, if you’re a designer it’s important that you’re are up to scratch with the latest developments or you’ll be left behind as the internet gathers pace in morphing into a platform of services and user interfaces that are all tied together.
Is your web site responsive? Have you noticed an unusual high bounce rate on your traffic lately? Want to know what devices your visitors are using?