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A (Partial) Case for Responsive Website Design + Examples

out of the blue Brenda Haines November 9, 2012

Wondering whether to include Responsive Website Design among your 2013 website enhancements? Here’s a partial case to help you decide – and some examples to help you see responsive design in action.

Responsive Website Design mixes some programming wizardry (yep, that’s the technical term) with technical intuition (yep, another technical term), turning your website into one that detects the size of screen visiting and displays itself based on what it detects.

Translation: Your site looks beautiful on every device. Whether visitors are seeing it on giant desktop screens, laptops, tablets or smartphones, Responsive Website Design lets you use and maintain a single site for all differently sized devices.

What does this mean for you?

Your web team isn’t building a new template every time a new device is released. And, your customers have full access to your site without switching from the mobile to standard version, no pinching, scrolling or squinting required.

How does Responsive Website Design work? 

Test drive one of these three responsive sites we’ve recently launched:

Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Website - Responsive Website Design

Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce |

Years of Retirement Website - Responsive Website Design

PAi Years of Retirement |

Blue Door Consulting Website - Responsive Website Design

Blue Door Consulting, LLC |

Why responsive design now?

Simply put, more and more people are accessing websites from mobile devices. Here’s a snapshot of the fast-changing trends in mobile web use.

eMarketer: Average Time Spent per Day with Major Media

The October 2012 eMarketer study ‘Consumers Spending More Time with Mobile as Growth Slows for Time Online‘ finds:

  • The amount of time US adults spent using mobile devices has nearly quadrupled in the last three years, from 22 minutes per day in 2009 to 82 minutes per day in 2012. (And, that does not include talk time!)
  • Time spent on a mobile device accounts for nearly half the time spent online – 82 minutes spent on mobile out of 173 minutes spent online, which includes time spent on desktops, laptops and Internet connected TVs.

A Google/Ipsos study ‘Mobile Internet & Smartphone Adoption‘ released earlier this year found:

  • More US consumers are using a mobile phone than a laptop or desktop. (The same is true in the UK, France, Germany and Japan.)
  • The number of smartphone owners is on the rise, with the number of smartphone (38%) and feature phone (39%) users almost evenly split.
  • Laptop use (73%) has outpaced PC use (67%). And, tablet use is on the rise, with 17% of respondents saying they use tablets for personal use.

Despite this shift, companies have been slow to respond. In September, the Google study ‘What Visitors Want from Mobile Sites Today‘ found 72% of mobile users said it’s important to them that websites are mobile-friendly, but 96% have visited a site that doesn’t work well on their device.

How important is mobile-friendly responsive design?

Google has now said officially that responsive design is recommended for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But, it’s not just the search engines that are happy when websites work well on mobile devices. 

More importantly, mobile-friendly responsive design makes consumers happy, too.

The Google study found that when consumer visit a site that isn’t mobile friendly, their most common reaction is to leave and find another site that IS mobile-friendly.

On the other hand, visitors who find a site that works well on a mobile device are more likely to come back again and again. That means more visits and more sales.

And, that kind of ROI looks good on every screen. 

So, there’s a partial case for Responsive Website Design. What else would you add to the list? Anything you’d remove?