Responsive design, a technique aimed at bringing consistency to web design across all devices, was born out of the mobile age. Marketers and designers have been working to solve the unique challenges presented by our quickly changing digital landscape for almost a decade. A variety of solutions have been popularized (see examples here), while some have already lost traction. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, responsive design has presented some major benefits for both companies and their users. Today, I’m going to cover the top four:
- Improved efficiency/ lower cost: Responsive design sites tend to be created more quickly than standalone sites because there are fewer versions to develop. Having everything in one place is easier on both the designers and developers, and testing can be done much more quickly.
- Less maintenance on site management: Unlike with the alternatives, responsive design uses one template across all devices. No exceptions. Because of this, you only have to update one Content Management System (CMS). If you have multiple experiences then you have multiple updates to maintain, which could lead to missing a device or version. With responsive design, this isn’t a problem.
- Better ranking in Google: Google places high importance on mobile-friendliness of sites for ranking. Although Google states that it does not give higher rankings to responsive sites as opposed to other mobile-friendly alternatives, there can be added challenges with the way Google crawls and indexes these alternatives, making responsive a better choice.
- Enhanced user experience: Overall, responsive design is simply a better experience for your users. These sites interact with users in a way the user expects across all devices. Consistency tends to have a better impact on a user’s ability to navigate your site and reach their goals, which can positively impact conversion rates or milestones you want your users to reach.