Good design means nothing if it doesn’t look good across all devices – your desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone. At Julie Ray Creative we practice responsive web design, which means we design websites that respond to the device on which they are viewed. A desktop computer is a landscape (or horizontal) view and is larger than a laptop. Tablets and smartphones are usually a portrait (or vertical) view and are significantly smaller than desktops and laptops. The iPhone and iPad alone can switch from portrait to landscape view! Smart Insights Marketing Firm reports that device preferences change throughout the day with smartphone use in the morning, desktop use during the day, and tablet use at night.
Mobile design is not just a smaller version of a website. You’ll know you are viewing a non-responsive web design on your smartphone, when the text and images are too small to see and you have to zoom in with your fingers. Users have little patience for slow and unresponsive websites and will abandon a non mobile-optimized website in favor of a mobile-optimized website.
Creating a separate mobile site is impractical and expensive. Responsive web design provides the technology to automatically respond to the different formats. It is also ideal for SEO (search engine optimization) because all of your webpages are on the same domain. Google recommends RWD for mobile websites. Google also prioritizes mobile-friendly sites in its search algorithms. When you search Google on your phone, you will see the words mobile-friendly appear in the search results. Good mobile design flows from making smart choices in the website design process and asking if the design will look good on both a desktop and mobile version.
Good Responsive Design:
• Quick, up-front menu navigation
• Easy to read print
• Graphics are streamlined for fast and easy loading over cell networks. Sites that are too large can put a strain on users’ data plans.
• Click-to-call feature for telephone number
• Easy access to GPS & directions
Designing for mobile usage is also an issue of access According to a recent Pew Research Center report on U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015, 64% of Americans own a smartphone. 15% of that 64% have limited options for online access other than their cell phone and 10% of that 64% have no broadband service at home other that smartphone data plan. According to the Pew report, Americans that rely on smartphones for online access are younger adults (15% of Americans ages 18-29), those with low household incomes and levels of educational attainment (13% of Americans with an annual household income of less than $30,000 per year), and non-whites (12% of African Americans and 13% of Latinos are smartphone dependent, compared with 4% of whites).