How to avoid alienating 50% of your online customers picture

Responsiveness seems to have become THE buzzword when talking about websites. We’ve been creating responsive websites for clients (and for ourselves) since the beginning of 2014. Here’s a quick rundown of what it all means.

Responsive design is simply a website that can adapt to devices of all shapes and sizes, and that is easily navigated on them all – from iPhones to 27” desktop computers.

Having a responsive website improves the user experience. Visitors to your website don’t have to zoom or shrink text, images and links to get to the content they need.

It also removes the need for a separate mobile-friendly version of your website.There is just one version of your site, but it adapts to the device being used. In most cases, large images that are not necessary on a small screen will compact or disappear, and content, articles and other elements on the page will neatly stack themselves on top of one another to accommodate the screen you are viewing it on.

Google prefers responsive design, so responsiveness is also important when it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO).

48% of people say that when a site doesn’t work on their mobile device, it makes them feel that the company doesn’t want their business. A quick Google Analytics check of websites we’ve built shows that, on average, desktop and mobile users are about equal now – so if your site isn’t mobile friendly, you could risk alienating half of your customers. Not good!

It depends on the type of site of course: consumer-focused businesses in sectors such as travel or e-commerce tend to have higher numbers of mobile and tablet users. These are the kind of websites that people will browse on their phone or iPad while sitting on the sofa watching TV, or while taking the bus to and from work. Business sites have more desktop users, for obvious reasons, but mobile users of these websites are never neglible.

We recently helped environmental engineering company McGowan Ltd with a branding and (responsive) website project. Go to www.mcgowanltd.co.uk and try resizing your browser window to see how the website responds.