Was 2014 the Year of Responsive Web Design?

We’ve talked about responsive web design a few times now, the reason being that it’s a key issue in web design that isn’t going away anytime soon. But before we look at why 2014 could be crunch year for businesses not currently using responsive web design, let’s quickly recap exactly what it is.

Responsive web design in a nutshell

There was a time when web pages were viewed solely on a computer monitor with a standardised size and resolution, while sitting at a desk. Then came laptops, then smartphones, tablets and other mobile Internet-enabled devices. Now people are using the Internet with a wide array of screen sizes and shapes, and using different methods to navigate through websites.

In order for websites to display properly on all these different devices businesses started creating separate mobile versions of their websites, but this was time consuming and a tad clunky. Enter responsive design, a web design technique which makes it possible for a website to be automatically adjusted to fit whatever screen it is being displayed on.

The way of the future?

Leading business magazine Forbes ran an insightful piece (http://www.forbes.com/sites/joshsteimle/2013/11/08/why-your-business-needs-a-responsive-website-before-2014/) this month exploring why responsive design is becoming ever more critical for businesses. Using an anonymous website as a representative example, it reveals that more than two-thirds of Internet traffic over the last year came from mobile devices and tablets.

Even more compelling is its comparison with the same statistics from a year earlier, which show that mobile website visits have doubled within a single year.

The message to be taken from this is quite clear – more people are using webpages on mobile devices, and businesses that fail to account for this via responsive design or an alternative method stand to lose out in a big way.

With so many people going mobile, what business can afford to miss out on their custom due to a website not displaying properly? Utilising responsive web design will help to ensure that the best possible version of your website is displayed, and hence improve conversion rates.