As people continue to rely on a myriad of different smartphones and tablets to access the internet, your website’s design and functionality is increasingly coming under scrutiny. There’s no simple answer as each different approach to website design has its own merit; whether you go responsive, adaptive, mobile or native, the right choice depends on the content and how you expect it to be viewed by your target audience.
What Is Responsive Design?
Responsive design is an approach to designing websites that is designed to deliver the optimal viewing experience regardless of the viewport. The idea is to design your content in a way that’s easy to read and navigate, with minimum re-sizing and scrolling, which delivers a consistent viewing experience across a range of different devices. Fluid, proportion-based grids and flexible images ensure that the web page is as efficient and usable on a desktop as it is on a phone or tablet, rather than utilising absolute units such as points and pixels.
Is Responsive The Best Option?
Whether or not responsive design is the best option for your website depends on a number of variables. This approach has developed a reputation for its effectiveness and flexibility, by having the technology to respond to a user’s preferences it naturally has an advantage over alternative methods of website design. By being able to focus exclusively on content, without worrying about which devices your website will and won’t work on, you are naturally creating a more favorable browsing experience for the visitor. There are compromises to this approach, so it depends largely on who you’re talking to and how you expect them to access your website. If you are a new company, or are looking to create a new website from scratch using a web design company, then responsive design is doubtlessly your best option. A combination of professional website design and a blank canvas in which to create your flexible site will ensure optimal viewing ease for your customer.
What Are The Alternatives?
What if you have already made a big investment in your website but you want it be perform better on mobile devices? The task of transforming an existing website to be responsive can be an incredibly elongated and laborious process, which may not even deliver the intended result. If you wish to transform your old website to be more compatible with other devices, then adaptive web design is another option. This works by implementing break points determined not by content, as is the case with responsive web design, but by the requirements of the specific device. The obvious downside to this method comes with the knowledge that mobile phone and tablet technology is changing at such a pace that it soon becomes more cost-effective to design a new responsive website from scratch.
Should I Go Native?
Many businesses are unsure whether they should design a responsive site that works well across all devices, or focus on developing a native mobile app. Both have advantages and disadvantages, so it depends on the type of content you’re working with and the goals for your business. For example, a responsive site is more versatile and allows the user to browse the content on multiple devices, whereas the native app will offer the best user experience by taking advantage of the phone’s functions and expectations from the users on that device.