Check your web metrics: how many visitors to your site are on mobile devices? 10%? 20%? 50%? Smartphone and tablet use is exploding; I’ve heard claims that mobile traffic will overtake desktop as soon as next year.
Responsive design means your one website is coded to responds to the device (laptop, tablet) and browser your site is being viewed on, and adjusts the pieces to give the best user experience – eliminating the need for a separate mobile site.
(If you’re unsure as to which option is best for your business, check out this great article on your options from CMS Wire).
But responsive design isn’t just about fitting your website to different screen sizes, it’s about ensuring the best viewing experience – meaning content, layout, and functionality – for each device and audience. What does this mean?
Consider your industry or business type: if you are a salon for example, and a user is searching from a mobile, they probably want to find your location or book an appointment. This means that the history of your business and team photos aren’t relevant, so strip it down to show your location map and phone number right off the bat.
Timing of site visits is important here too. If you are a shop or restaurant, and visitors are viewing your site in the morning, they are probably looking to find out what time you open. So feature your business hours prominently, without them having to search, pinch and zoom.
Scale down the number of images and columns on your homepage so the look is clean and readable on every device, and ensure the font size is large enough to read without having to zoom.
Smartphone and tablets use touchscreens, and if you’ve ever tried, you’ll know clicking titles on a drop-down menu can be super difficult. Make sure your mobile site has large, clickable tabs or sliding menus for quick and easy navigation.
Many companies have seen significant boost in their key metrics following the implementation of responsive design, especially if they have a transactional site that is converting terribly–or not at all–on mobile devices.
For advice on designing landing pages to be responsive, read this post.