“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.”- Henri Bergson
Information technology is perhaps the fastest evolving phenomenon to effect humanity. Even for those of us whom have committed our lives to IT, it is nearly impossible to keep up with the daily discoveries and advances that occur. Droves of people all over the world are committed to making our lives more convenient, efficient, and just plain better by innovating technology.
Responsive Web Design (RWD), which began trending in 2012, allows us to no longer simply bide our time with desktop or mobile websites until the next device comes to market. Instead, websites can be designed using this all-encompassing approach, creating optimal viewing across a wide range of devices from smart phones, to tablets, to mini tablets.
Among the obvious reasons for adapting to Responsive Web Design for your website; such as, there is one platform to update content and the inherent consistency of design across devices, below are 3 very important reasons to consider a Responsive Web Design. These reasons include; there is speculation that the majority of the worlds population will own at least one tablet by 2014, Responsive Web Design is better for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and this methodology creates a better user experience. The fourth reason, which does not require any further explanation, Responsive Web Design is awesome! Trust me :)
1.) The Future of Tablets
What is the number one factor that is sure to dramatically increase the number of consumers who own a tablet? Price. With 2012 being “the year of the tablet”, the market is becoming flooded with tablets designed by all of the major players in the technology industry. As we all know from Economics 101, if demand remains unchanged and supply increases, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
In 2013, Acer, will be introducing a tablet that retails for $99. Starting in China, but undoubtedly moving its market share to the USA before long. An even larger explosion in the market is likely to follow. Tablet ownership then becomes accessible for any economically viable human being in the world.
2.) Better SEO
As of June 2012, Responsive Web Design is Google’s “recommended configuration”. As Google stated regarding their choice to go Responsive, “We faced a stark choice between creating mobile specific websites, or adapting existing sites and new launches to render well on both desktop and mobile. Creating two sites would allow us to better target specific hardware, but maintaining a single shared site preserves a canonical URL, avoiding any complicated redirects, and simplifies the sharing of web addresses.”
With responsive design, there exists one URL across all screen sizes. This URL will already be recognized by search engines and have link backs from various sites, including social media. When a separate mobile website is created, SEO and link building efforts must begin from square one.
3.) Better User Experience
When you browse to a website on your mobile device that is not responsive, a great deal of squinting, zooming, and scrolling is required. Or perhaps, the site has been designed as a mobile website, in which case it is likely that there has been a significant amount of content removed from the original, desktop site. This can be very frustrating for you as a user, especially if you are looking for specific information that is not available on the mobile site. All users, no matter their device of choice have been created equal and should have the ability to view the same content. It’s just the right thing to do.
As an emerging IT professional and socially passionate individual, at this juncture, it is rare I come across a topic I become excited about. As a matter of fact, I think this might be the first time, with the exception of social media. Responsive Design is exciting to me, because it is sustainable.
As I attempt to learn about all things technology, the changing nature of the industry is very daunting. Why bother to spend time and energy learning something that will be obsolete by the time I grasp it. Responsive Design is here to stay. It is a timeless methodology that will grow and scale (no pun intended) with web design and the tablet market for years to come. Now that is exciting :)