« Return to Blog

Why 2014 Web Design Must be Responsive

Image by William Hook used under Creative Commons licence

Image by William Hook used under Creative Commons licence

As we begin 2014, it’s important to realise that the web design industry has changed. The extraordinary growth of the smartphone market has meant that the way we use the internet has fundamentally shifted. This is precisely why we believe that in 2014 web design must be responsive.

The statistics are compelling. It’s predicted that there are now more mobile devices in the world than people. A survey conducted in May 2013 estimated that 56% of people have a smartphone, and 50% of these use their mobile device as their primary means of surfing the internet. In other words, the smartphone has changed internet browsing by sheer volume of users.

When we start to look at e-commerce figures, the data is extraordinary. 67.5% of smartphone and tablet owners do their research on their mobile device before purchasing. Incredibly, 52% of tablet owners would rather do their shopping on their tablet than on their PC. In other words, mobile internet isn’t just about maps, news and social media; people are using their mobile devices to do everything that they would want to do on a PC or laptop.

Why Responsive Web Design is the Answer

In the website design industry it’s rare that we’re able to label anything “the answer”, simply because technology and trends are changing so quickly. However, mobile internet has created a seismic shift in the web designer’s thinking, and responsive web design principles are continuing to help us move forwards.

1. Responsive Makes You Distinctive

Whilst responsive web design has been widely adopted over the last 2 years, the reality is that in many industry sectors a responsive website will give you a significant competitive edge. Furthermore, whilst some websites have adopted responsive principles, in reality they still offer a relatively poor user experience for mobile visitors. In other words, getting this right will help your business to offer a user experience which stands head and shoulders above your competitors.

2. Responsive Helps Future-Proof

A problem that many businesses experience is that they have a relatively modern, non-responsive website. If this is the case, it might be difficult to persuade decision-makers that investing in a new, responsive site is a good idea.

However, unlike previous trends, responsive website design actually helps you to future-proof. This is because the underlying principles make a responsive site very adaptable to changes in technology. Rather than simply designing for one type of device (ie desktop site for PCs, mobile site for smartphones) responsive design helps us to create websites which dynamically adjust to the device being used. This means that if we see a new kind of device entering the mass market – whether it’s the smartwatch, Google Glass technology or something new altogether – we have a website which can be adjusted to cope without a complete redesign.

3. Responsive Will Make Mobile Users Love You

It’s important to realise that mobile users will be visiting your website regardless of how suitable it is for them. The distinction comes, however, when you invest in a responsive site which can deliver a high quality of user experience. Instead of leaving your site, mobile visitors will stay and even return.

A responsive website will make mobile users love you.