Responsive Web Design for Mobile: An Introduction

Image © Wikipedia/Antoine Lefeuvre.

The concept of creating a responsive mobile Website design, or RWD, as it is alternatively referred to, is fairly recent, yet emerging as a vital factor for mobile Website designers and developers. What is RWD and how does one go about working with this concept and incorporating it on a mobile device?

Here is an introduction on creating a responsive Website design for mobile devices:

What is RWD?

Responsive Web design or RWD is the means employed to create a Website such that it provides an optimal viewing experience to a mobile device user. Adopting this approach enables the user to easily read through and navigate the contents of a Website on his or her mobile device, be it a smartphone or a tablet, with the minimum amount of manipulation on his or her part.

A Website that has a responsive design automatically adjusts and adapts itself to different mobile device elements, including size of the screen, resolution and so on.

Why Bother with Responsive Mobile Website Design?

More and more users are now accessing the Internet and the mobile Web via their smartphones and tablet devices. This being the case, it becomes your duty as a manufacturer or advertiser to give your mobile users the best possible experience while browsing your Website.

Mobile users’ behavior is generally seen to be quite fickle. They are looking for quick answers while on the go. You can keep users engaged provided that you give equally quick and satisfying answers to their queries. If not, they would end up losing interest in you and your products just as quickly.

Working with Responsive Design

In order to make your Website perfectly compatible with mobile devices, you will have to work on two major aspects, namely, the content layout and Website navigation.

A mobile phone has far lesser screen space than a traditional PC screen. Hence, the contents of your Website should be so manipulated as to make it easy for the user to view the content on the screen. It would make more sense, for instance, to create longer columns of content than have 2 or 3 rows of different content.

Most of the latest smartphones do permit the user to zoom the onscreen contents, thereby permitting them to view the entire contents of the Website on their mobile device. However, it can get frustrating for the user to keep searching for one particular element on the screen. They would get a much better user experience if you could prominently display the most important elements on the screen.

Mobile users usually do not have the time to leisurely browse your entire Website. They are visiting your site for a purpose – to get specific information, such as your address, phone number or additional information regarding a product or service that you have to offer. Giving them the exact information within the least possible time is your trick of converting them into your loyal customers. Hence, while Website content is important to rope in visitors, ease of Website navigation is equally vital to help retain them.

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Responsive Web Design as the Future of Mobile

RWB is undoubtedly the future of mobile, since it is of immense benefit to both the advertiser/publisher and the user, in more ways than one. This concept makes it far easier for publishers, as it eliminates the need to create multiple versions of their Website, so as to support multiple mobile devices. This works out much less expensive in terms of design and maintenance as well.

Responsive Web design benefits mobile users the most, as it gives them the best possible user experience while browsing the Web via their mobile device, be it a mobile phone or tablet device.