This is the age of screens. No longer can you think of the digital landscape as desktops and laptops with mice for input devices. We have more screens, more sizes, more aspect ratios and more ways to interact with sites. Some screens are large, some are small, some are more capable than others. Some you touch, some you don’t. According to Forbes, in 2013 mobile devices will pass PCs to be the most common web access tool. This poses an enormous challenge for businesses. How do you deliver the proper experience for your audience? How do you take advantage of new features, and not leave the pack behind? How do you provide a great mobile experience and still have a high quality desktop presence?
Enter responsive design and development. Through thoughtful design and development, we can use the presentation layer to tailor the website for the screen it is displayed on. There is an enormous upside to this; you now have one code base to maintain and enhance as opposed to a fractured landscape where every platform has its own code to maintain. This will allow you to provide the right user experience at the right time for your constituents.
The world is becoming mobile first, but too often new builds are still focusing on last century’s paradigm – the desktop, and there is strong data to back up a solid mobile experience. As I mentioned in an earlier post, according to the Google Smartphone Survey 95% of smart phone users have looked for local information, 88% of these users take action within a day and 77% have contacted a business, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business which is a pretty nice lead to tap into. These are the types of motivated consumers business dream of, but a lot of sites fall flat in this area. We have all had a poor mobile experience, which usually results in tapping the back button and finding a high quality site you can interact with to get the information you need.
Change is hard, but the only constant is change, so look forward and be responsive.