Technology industry news site Mashable has coined 2013 “The Year of the Responsive Website”, and one glance at the wide variety of screens and tech tools being used by the people around us and we agree. In fact, the rapid switch from personal computers to mobile hardware is incredible. Take a look at some of the numbers:
By the end of 2012:
- Smartphone use had grown by 81% (Cisco)
- Global mobile traffic grew by 70% (Cisco)
- Almost half of all American adults owned a smart phone (Pew Internet)(Mind you that is not just owning a cell phone, but a “smart phone” where they are actively surfing the web)
- 31% of American adults owned a tablet computer (Pew Internet Research)
Want to really be amazed?
2013 will be the year when there are more mobile devices in the world then there are people (Terminator fans may feel free to reference SkyNet now, although that data is actually sourced from Cisco Systems).
What does that mean for your website? It means that people visiting your site will be doing so on a variety of screens and Internet connections. Whereas, prior to 2012/2013 the focus on website design was user interface and user experience on a large screen desktop, or even a mid sized laptop, now suddenly in the space of 24 months sites need to consider visitors from ipads, smart phones, tablets, and maybe even someday sooner than we think – Refrigerator doors, bathroom mirrors, and/or Google Glass.
A responsive website design means you can serve up the pertinent information on your site in a visually pleasing way to anyone visiting it, no matter what hardware they are using. When a person is searching for your business “on the go” from wherever they are, it is not likely that will be at a large screen desktop computer.
Let’s say you own a small to mid-sized business and understand the importance of SEO and of a well-built site that will rank high with Google search and get you in front of thousands of potential local customers. Right there, you’ve set yourselves above and apart from your peers who are leaving the Internet wide open for your competition.
But if those potential customers are searching from their phone (as more and more are every day), do you want to cause them frustration because your site is difficult to navigate or read or obtain information on from a small screen? We didn’t think so. Businesses that are leveraging responsive programming for their website design know that you have one chance to make a first impression. Ease of use and top quality customer service is a very powerful first impression and one that we strongly encourage our clients to make.