What Is Responsive Web Design And Why Is It Important?

As the number of smart devices in our pockets grows, so too does the complexity of web design. The affordability and capabilities provided by those devices have grown in parallel. The trend provides businesses with a greater number of options. One of those options is called responsive web design. Creating a page with responsive web design really just means you’ve optimized it for the greatest number of devices possible.

It’s not easy.

To explain further, the design of your website would “respond” to whichever device is being used to view it. Because devices use a number of wildly different operating systems or screen sizes, your website needs to reconfigure its layout depending on requisite factors of a given device. Whereas you can fit a ton of information on a computer screen, you might need to pick and choose only the most valuable bits of data to display when the site is being viewed from a smartphone or tablet. Many devices use touch technology to navigate instead of a mouse, and that problem needs to be addressed as well.

It’s a lot of work to get just right, but the payoff is worth it. Visitors won’t stay on your page if the content doesn’t look just right, so the layout is important. If you don’t optimize the site for different devices, then pages might take forever to load, images might bleed into one another on smaller screens, or the site might seem bogged down by unnecessary ads. Responsive web design accounts for these obstacles, increasing performance points on each device in use.

The platform might change how the owner of the website wishes information to be displayed too, and responsive web design provides for an increased amount of customization. You might think an auto-playing video is more appropriate for one platform, while a gallery of images is more appropriate for another. It’s all up to you. What kind of audience are you building the website for?

Changes like these provide a lot of benefits for your website. It will function more efficiently. It will provide easier navigation for the user. More ads will be clicked and viewed. More content will be shared on social media like Facebook and Twitter. Your website will feel more immersive, and users will interact with it more often. Growing your user base will help you grow your business, and isn’t that the point?

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.