Web users are becoming more and more educated and demanding when it comes to viewing websites. Features like loading times, ease of use, scrolling and functionality are paramount in ensuring your website ranks well in search engines as well as engages the user from the homepage to the final step of your website process - either the checkout/thank you page or the contact us page.
An integral part of maximizing the user experience is ensuring your website is easily accessible and usable across all devices! In the web design world, this is what we call responsive website design.
People accessing websites from devices other than a computer or laptop is increasing year after year. People are also referring and sharing through social media which is mostly managed from a mobile device like a tablet or smartphone (for example through Instagram or Facebook). With the advance in smart TV's, people can easily search and display websites on a television as well! Many voice activated devices like Amazon's Alexa, Apple's HomePod and Google's Home can push a website on your TV with a simple voice command.
Take a few moments to see how your website looks across all types of devices like a smartphone and a TV. Is it easy to navigate? Is there a lot of scrolling involved. Are buttons, fonts and calls to action too small or hard to click one?
In a blog we wrote on the benefits of adding good pictures on your website, I mention how you can make the user's viewing experience a lot more enjoyable and customized by using various images within your content. However, since certain mobile devices like tablets and smartphones have a much smaller viewing area compared to a laptop or a desktop, it's important to consider what content you want to see on smaller devices and what content is shown on larger devices.
In technical terms, we call this "media queries." This styling code allows us to differentiate between devices or screen sizes and deliver a specific set of rules. The most common use of media queries is to limit images that are displayed on mobile. Having too many images on a blog or a homepage can make the user scroll too much and make for a poor user experience. Omitting images, or displaying an alternate image based on the device can make for a much nicer user experience.
See Responsiveness For Yourself
Below is an example of responsive web design. If you are currently on a desktop or laptop you will see a mobile phone and laptop icons below. As you resize your browser and make it smaller, you will see the mobile phone and laptop icons disappear and will only show the text. On a mobile device, this allows the user to see the text rather than having to scroll through the icon to see the text.
Will disapear when browser is resized
Will disapear when browser is resized
Not many people realize that search engines are companies that need to make revenue and also face competition. Even though Google owns the majority of the market share, it still faces competition from Bing, Yahoo and other search engines. Also, people search from other places such as facebook, YouTube and other website directories. In order for these companies to gain market share, they need to deliver the best possible results after a user search and if a search engines deliver poor results, people will simply use a different search engine. In order for search engine companies to retain their market share, they continuously look for ways to keep users coming back and creating an easy, functional and accurate experience while searching
Recently, search engines have made it a requirement for websites to work well on mobile and smaller devices. Imagine, a user was searching on Google for a website on their smartphone and the top 10 results did not have a mobile friendly website? Of course, the user would simply search elsewhere as this would be a frustrating experience for the user to keep going back to the results page.
We all put a lot of effort into maintaining and operating a successful website. We want users to visit many pages, learn our story, place orders or find education with the content we create. With a responsive website that looks great on any device, the user will enjoy navigating yourself and staying on your website. Perhaps you sell goods online and a responsive website will make them browse more products, easily go back and forth between products and the shopping cart or, if you're a blogger, a responsive website will make it easy to read blogs and look for related content
The longer a user stays on your website, the better your website statistics will be in terms of bounce rate (do people leave right after coming on the homepage) page views and visit duration.
Better statistics make your website more valuable to sponsors, marketers and other