Why use Responsive Web Design for your web site?
Mobile Devices are becoming very popular
You've probably noticed that more and more people are using Mobile Devices to browse the web these days. I've noticed personally that a lot of my friends and family are using their Smartphones, iPads and Tablets before purchasing everyday items. In fact, I see their Desktop computers collecting dust because their Mobile Device is so convenient.
Responsive Web Design can increase conversions
For owners of web sites, having a Mobile Device Friendly site has become a crucial part of accommodating visitors and managing their online presence. At 4Boxers we are continuously researching technologies to avoid making common mistakes so your viewers can have the best experience possible on their Desktop, Smartphone, iPad or Tablet.
Tablets: are they considered a Mobile Device?
Although a Tablet may not be consider a Mobile Device in all cases because of the various screen sizes, the viewers experience can still be enhanced if using a smaller screen. Some of your visitors will expect to see a full size web site if they are using a larger sized tablet. Responsive Web Design sites allow them to do that.
Smartphones vs. Feature Phones
It must be noted that Responsive Web Design (RWD) is not the solution for Feature Phones. Feature Phones don't have the ability to follow the technology used in RWD sites like a Smartphone does. A Feature Phone actually needs a separate web site to go to like a m.mywebsite.com or a mywebsite.mobi to properly display the content of the site.
Which direction is phone technology heading?
However, according to the Business Insider web site (who gathered information from Gartner) Smartphone sales have gained tremendous momentum accounting for 49% of mobile phone sales in the first quarter of 2013 and are quickly gaining momentum on the Feature Phone sales. It has been speculated that Smartphone sales will race past Feature Phone sales as the Phone Feature market collapses. In less developed countries second hand Feature Phone sales will continue for a while since their needs aren't the same as many American customers.
Picking your web site design battles
That being said, you just have to pick your battles. There are definitely disadvantages to serving to web site using the same content if your web designer is not highly educated in the usage of “Canonical” tags which we won't get into here.
We can help you make educated decisions when it comes to picking your web site design battles by the use of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools on your web site.
How not to frustrate your web site visitors
If you don't want to frustrate your Mobile Device visitors there are some things to avoid on your web site. I can't begin to tell you how many people I've heard say, “I can barely understand how to use this thing!” (referring to their Smartphone).
- Avoid Survey request windows or those annoying “Do you need help” windows that show up while trying to read the web site page
- Overlays to download new Apps
- Don't use extra windows on your web site pages! Some Smartphones don't support that and they are a nuisance for some viewers, especially those new to Smartphones
- Features that require plugins or Flash (which doesn't work on iPhones or Androids using version 4.1 and higher)
What are current statistics reporting?
A recent study by ssl.gstatic.com shows Mobile Phones are the beginning interactions that lead to many of our daily activities. This includes purchases, vacations, dining, what movie to watch, choosing motels and the list goes on. That study also shows that:
- 24% of our media interactions occur on our Desktops while 38% occur on our Smartphones!
- 34% of people use the device that is closest to them to find information. What device is usually closest to you?
- 80% of spontaneous decisions involve using a Smartphone and 44% of those searches are to achieve a goal
- 81% of “spur of the moment” purchases involve a Smartphone.
What could all of this do for your sales?
Conclusion to this quickly evolving situation
Like it or not, technology will continue to change the way people do business. You either adapt and roll with it or get left behind. Customers and prospects are becoming increasingly savvy when searching for business services and products. If your web site is not Mobile Device friendly, your competition that has a Responsive Web Design site may run laps around you.