The digital world has shifted quite heavily in recent years. More people are online than ever before, but more importantly, they are accessing websites across a wider range of devices than ever before.

According to data calculated by StatCounter, there were more searches in the UK using mobile devices than desktop ones (47.64 per cent against 45.61 per cent), and if tablet devices are also included, most than half of all UK web searches use smart devices rather than a traditional computer.

Gone are the days of designing for a range of 4:3 or even 16:9 resolutions for desktop computers. Instead, web design in Kingston and across the United Kingdom must put responsive design at the front and centre of their websites.

 

What Is Responsive Design?

Responsive design is less a specific design and more of an approach to web page development. The philosophy of responsive design is to make a website that will look as good on any size device at any orientation.

In practice, this means not only designing it for high-resolution widescreen desktops but also tablets and mobile phone, ideally with both portrait and landscape in mind.

As mobile devices, in particular, have quite a wide range of screen sizes, from rather tall and narrow devices to screens large enough to almost serve as a half-way point in-between a phone and a tablet, your layout needs to be adjustable to ensure that any phone can access a presentable form of the website.

Another consideration for responsive design is that many website features and extensions that are available on desktop computers are not always available on mobile devices, so a website must be able to be at least functional without JavaScript and other web features, before effectively managing which features are usable on which device.

The use of progressive enhancement, automated detection of a device and web browser, is helpful for designing the best website for the most people.

A related concept, although not exactly the same as responsive design is ‘mobile-first’. Mobile-first design is a little more specific in scope and generally involve a different design process. For mobile-first, the basic website skeleton is designed first with the most basic of devices in mind, before being gradually built on for smart devices and desktops.

Why Use Responsive Design?

The short answer is that it is important to SEO. Google factors in mobile usability in search results, so websites that are easier to access and navigate on websites will usually rank higher in search results.

As well as this, designing a website with mobile in mind usually has positive consequences in other areas.

Mobile websites need to be efficient with their use of data, which by consequence makes them load faster. Page speed is another major criteria for SEO.

Efficient web design is effective web design, and making the site as easy as possible for any device to access helps as many users to reach your site as possible.