Why You Should Forget About Mobile Optimization and Embrace Responsive Web Design

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Every marketing professional knows that having a strong presence on mobile is absolutely essential nowadays. Your customers not only expect, but demand that your company has a website that works perfectly on all of their various devices – and if not they’ll just click away and check out your competition. Here’s a complete lowdown for the beginner navigating his way around responsive design.

( If you are not a beginner and yet interested in where it all started, go here – http://alistapart.com/article/responsive-web-design)

A Recent Shift in Mobile Design And Programming

It used to be the case that you needed a secondary website for mobile – remember when many companies had a separate URL if you were accessing the site on your smartphone? Now most phones and tablets have browsers that can accurately display almost all websites, so maintaining a different version of your website optimized for mobile is no longer necessary.

But that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to pay careful attention to how your site is displayed on various devices, and which content is most important for the user depending on where and how they are accessing your site.

Responsive Design In 2015 And The Future

This is where responsive design comes into play. For the uninitiated, this is a method of designing and developing a website so that it responds to where and how it is being accessed and displays images and content appropriately, regardless of whether the user is operating a smart phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

In fact, responsive design is practically required for success in today’s internet world – and so is understanding the difference between how users interact with your content on mobile devices with touchscreens versus a standard laptop or desktop computer.

On a related note, sites are beginning to be built so that users can scroll up or down versus clicking through to new pages – which is easier on a touchscreen than having to tap tiny links. Furthermore, parallax scrolling (where the background images move more slowly than the foreground images when the user scrolls up or down) is becoming increasingly typical for new website designs. In addition, call to actions and other types of buttons are becoming larger – making them that much easier to tap – and your users can avoid mistakes caused by “fat finger typing”.

Minimalism Is The Key To Responsive Design – And Mobile Success

Considering the sheer variety of screen sizes and ways that your customers have to access your site, your apps, social presence, ads, and other web content, it is almost a necessity to keep things simple and elegant. This will help ensure your digital assets load quickly – which is not only helpful for the end user, but it can improve your SEO – page load speed is a relatively new key ranking factor.

To build upon the minimalist point, card design is becoming an increasing trend – partly because it is sleek and intuitive, and partly because it works so well on mobile devices. This type of design is modeled on the idea of neatly contained chunks of information delivered in the same format as business cards or index cards, making it especially convenient and easy to read on a smart phone.

If there is one take way for you, it is that when you design a site for responsiveness, remember that you need to gracefully scale down content to a device and not cram every nook and cranny because you don’t have the heart to let go any content you’ve written.

Overall, ensuring that your company’s web presence performs well on mobile is no longer an option – it is a necessity for success in 2015 and beyond. And while many of the 2014 mobile trends are still extremely relevant, the web moves far more quickly than that – so even if you updated your digital assets this year, it is worth your time to perform a New Year’s review to make sure everything is up to date. And get on board with responsive design if you haven’t already!

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