Responsive design of 2015: Welcome to the cross-device experience
The day of the dreadful and smashing Mobilegeddon from Google has come and gone, making responsive web design a must-know term. Websites that have survived the algorithm test upgraded their "mobile-friendly" mark in search results and are currently enjoying the privilege of higher rankings from Google. Those that did not resolve the responsive issue in a timely manner are facing the sad reality of Google penalties, but still will have to adjust to mobile-friendly requirements.
This algorithm change from Google was inevitable considering the fact that up to 70% of traffic currently comes from mobile devices with users widely expressing a preference to their smartphones and tablets. Flexibility of the layout, images and stylesheet media queries comprise the basic concept of responsive web design. But 2015 has also become the year that will expand our understanding of what responsive design is. And here's why.
How users of today see responsive design
The consumer's demands for responsiveness are constantly growing. About 85% of American users are saying they want to see a mobile version of a website that is better than the desktop version,and at the least, not worse.
Today, you see consumers using mobile devices more often, but they don't totally abandon all types of computer devices currently available on the market. This means that when users switch between devices, they expect to receive the full web experience on all screen resolutions.
Responsive design means the ability to view the most important information from the website on their smartphone, and have full access to interaction with functionalities and tools you get with the desktop version. Experts say that this is an important factor in making a website mobile-friendly instead of creating a separate mobile version. Viewers do not want a version that is trimmed down for a smartphone. They want content that allows full and rich functionality.
Click here to learn about cross-device website responsive design.
To find out how Google turned responsive design into a must-have, click here.
Design must ensure cross-device experience
This is true if you consider the following facts: at least 75% of U.S. users interact with two or more computer devices on a daily basis, and 67% of them regularly switch between devices to complete different types of tasks during the day. Responsive design has to ensure that when a user decides to surf a website from a desktop, the same current information will be available in a familiar way to a user.
Currently the requirements for responsive design also include content optimization and personalization, content adjustment according to an individual's physical location, and increasing the amount of video content.
The cross-device approach in content optimization means creating a responsive website that ensures the same level of experience on all devices, not just a similar one that was adjusted for mobile in terms of different screen resolutions - it is about the way you distribute your web content to fit a user's comfort and personalize the cross-device experience.
There are actions that users won't be willing to do if they are switching from a desktop to a mobile version. A good example of this is asking a user to fill out a multiple field form which is less likely to occur if a user is viewing it on a smartphone, simply because of size. Users enjoy finding what they wanted with the slightest effort and action required, and without losing an opportunity to use fully functional uscale.
Content adjustment per location shift.
The user expectations keep on getting more sophisticated. It is no longer a surprise when a user receives a responsive experience that is supported by a smart or assistance message provided by a brand. They expect their web experience to be personalized and changing, according to their physical location as well.
For this purpose, content is adjusted based on the following steps: determining user search queries (keywords) on different devices, analyzing the most searchable website content on different devices and studying the page-to-page route that users are taking when surfing a website.
Mobile phones accompany people everywhere and all day long - they connect people, but also serve as a personal assistant and work tools. This is one of the reasons why the mobile experience has become so important.
According to Google, 1.6 times more users watch videos on their smartphones than those who view TV programming. This trend shows that consumers are getting more interested in video content provided by brands.
Visual optimization of content.
To be sure that a user is never frustrated with what they see on a website, it is better to rely on a simple page layout with large images, text and call-to-action buttons. Buttons that are large enough to tap or promotional images that are big enough to create a positive effect with a user are among the must-have features of a responsive website.
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