What Responsive Design means?
Maybe you´ve heard talking about the term responsive design many, many times but you´re not sure about what this really means. Maybe you´re even wondering if your website has a responsive design. Well, no more worries, we´re going to explain you in a quick and easy way what this term means. So, the next time someone talks you about it, you can have a little smile on your face instead of a desperate gesture 😉
Responsive Web Design is a technique that allows you to create websites that automatically adapt their content to the device from which you are viewing it. Whether this device is a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile. The responsive design takes into account the specific characteristics of each device. Such as the size of the screen, the resolution, or the operating system (iOS, Android, …).
This development technique, allows you to resize and place the elements of your web. Ordering and distributing those elements automatically. So they adapt to the resolution of the screen of each device, seeing each of them correctly. This way you make sure the user has a pleasant experience, regardless of the device from which they are viewing the page.
A little bit of history:
At first, the websites were optimized for desktop computers, that was easy because those devices were the only ones that the consumer had at their home.
After the appearance and the introduction of mobile devices and tablets, things got a little bit more complicated. Developers had to create different versions of the same website for the different devices available: phones, tablets, and personal computers. That means that it used to be two or three versions of the same page, each one configured for the different devices. This caused an increase in time and costs of development and maintenance.
As the types of devices available increased, this became unfeasible. There wasn´t so much that could be done about it. A website version for each new device that appeared on the market maybe?. Impossible!. We have screens that can go from 300píxeles to 2000, and there are even bigger ones!.
Houston, we have a problem….what can be done with such a wide variety of options?. What would happen if you design a website with a mobile device on the mind and then you try to see it from a desktop computer?. What happens is that it would look horrible!!.
That´s why it emerges a new technique that helps to solve this problem: the responsive design. This consists on preparing the web structurally so that it is able to adapt all its contents in function not only on the resolution, but also in function of the type of device from where it´s being seen.
How is Responsive Design done?
This is a more technical part, but we don´t want to bore you. So, generally speaking, we could say that the website is created using CSS3, media queries and the use of flexible structures (flexible containers, flexible images, and video, …). All of these adapt a website to the environment in which it is located.
Depending on the device from which it is being accessed, it shows the most optimized version for that medium according to the media queries. Reorganizing the elements of the web and even discriminating some of them (fewer images, redistribution of the columns in the design, less text, etc.).
Advantages of having a Responsive Website:
* Responsible websites improve the user experience.
The structure and the images are fluid and adapt to each screen. Both in navigation and in the layout of the rest of the elements. Like adapted buttons, the tactile use of the device, the appropriate font size. And all of that will allow a better reading experience.
By restructuring the elements of the web depending on the type of the device used, all the available space is optimized and it offers an excellent user experience.
The idea is that when the website loads, the user does not have to zoom in or out, simply scroll.
This directly affects the opinion that your users have on your website. And even the use that they have of it. Finally this leads to improve both the time they spend on the web and your professional image too.
* No more duplicated content.
As we said before, the old websites used several versions for the same web (the version for PC, for mobile, …). This was detrimental to your SEO because that created duplicated content and therefore Google penalized your website. A Responsive design avoids this problem because the content is the same but it´s organized differently depending on the device on which it is viewed.
* Fastest site load on portable devices.
Because now it doesn´t have to load different resources.
* The development and maintenance costs of the web are reduced.
As it is no longer necessary to use multiple versions of the same web. By using the same template for all platforms, the investment in maintenance and development is reduced. A single change has an impact on all versions. It involves a more specific technical level of programming at the beginning of its development, but subsequent costs are reduced.
* Increases the virality of the contents.
Recent studies show that there´s a great increase in the use of mobile devices. This makes it much easier and faster for a user to share a publication that results interesting to them. In general, when browsing from the mobile, the most usual thing is to have already opened the applications of your favorite social networks, making it very easy to share.
That is why another new movement is emerging at this point after the appearance of the Responsive Design, and it is the Mobile First, which consists in developing the web first for mobiles, and adapts it so that it can be seen in the rest of the devices later.
This is a symptom of where the trends are headed at this moment and the importance of having a website developed to be seen correctly on mobile phones.
Responsive design is considered, therefore, one of the best practices that are made in web design.
Do you want to know if your website is Responsive ?, Google has a specific tool to check it, enter the address of your web page and it will give you the results.
Do you prefer to see this explanation in a practical way?. Go ahead and take a look at the video below:
If your website is still not responsive, … what are you waiting for??. Hurry Up!, don´t share with your users an outdated and annoying version of your business 😉