Responsive design – why it’s important

We live in a mobile, web enabled world. By the day, the number of people who are accessing websites using smart phones or tablets is increasing.  Watching this trend, good web developers sought to deliver a better experience for people using mobile devices, and “responsive web design” was born as a result.

So what is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is the process of creating websites (and all other online material, eg email messages and newsletters) that provide an optimal user experience regardless of the type of device used to access the site. The desired outcome is an easy reading and navigation experience across all devices with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling.

When applied properly, responsive sites work automatically across a wide range of devices – including traditional website views on desktop computer monitors and laptops through to mobile phones, tablets and other devices.

What does a responsive site look like?

Responsive sites work well when being viewed either in landscape or portrait mode.  In the image below (thanks to Google Australia), we show the difference between a site that has been created responsively, and one that uses an older, non-responsive and therefore non-mobile friendly design.

Why is it important?

Responsive web design is important to provide visitors to your website or investor centre with a usable web experience.

IRM’s statistics of investor website views over the last two years clearly show the rising trend towards mobile website access. Investors are on the move! We’re doing some specific research on the numbers and will publish them in a later blog.

Now the stakes are getting higher. A few weeks back, Google updated its search algorithm to favour sites which are mobile-friendly.  Now, when a Google user searches for a term, Google notes whether the sites that land in the search results are “mobile-friendly” or not. So unfriendly sites will rank lower in Google searches.

IRM’s approach to responsive design

For the last 18 months or so, all new or redesigned IRM websites have responsive design. It’s just part of what we do at IRM.

For most existing clients, we’ve changed them over to responsive. Those who aren’t changed over yet, we know who you are! Its been a challenge for us to make sure our 170 client websites have kept up. But that’s why clients are with IRM, to leave these problems to us.

We’ve included a few examples below.

To see how the sites look on your own phone or device, pull out your phone or tablet and have a look at these sample IRM sites – try landscape and portrait:

www.rea-group.com www.wicet.com.au www.thorn.com.au