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With over 60% of the UK owning a smartphone and just under a fifth of the population owning tablets, it’s vital that businesses and brands are thinking about the different types of device their websites are being viewed on, and also what situations the users are in when viewing websites.
A recent report from Econsultancy found that four out of five organisations in the UK are still not designing their websites for smartphones or tablets.
As the use of mobile devices continues to increase, businesses need to be thinking about how their websites are appearing across the huge range of mobile and desktop devices available.
Responsive design is often touted as the future of web design based on little more than a vague sense that it makes websites more user-friendly and looks very cool.
And I’ll admit that one of my favourite things about it is watching how the content shifts around when you resize your desktop browser.
But responsive design isn’t just there to entertain simple minds. Aside from the SEO benefits, case studies are starting emerge that prove the technology can also increase traffic, sales and conversions.
These five case studies from brands such as O'Neill and Time Magazine reveal the potential benefits from adopting responsive design.
ITV recently underwent a corporate rebrand that included a new logo and colour scheme, as well as a new responsive design website.
The broadcaster’s decision to turn to responsive design follows similar transitions by a number of other content sites in the past 12 months as they attempt to cater for a growing mobile audience.
We’ve previously highlighted 10 great examples of ecommerce sites that use responsive design, as well as looking at the problems with mobile ads and how they can be overcome.
And in light of ITV’s new site, here are 12 examples of publishers that have embraced responsive design...
Responsive design is widely considered to be the future of web design as it allows site owners to adopt a user-centric and mobile-first approach.
In a nutshell, responsive design allows websites to work from a single set of code that resizes itself to fit whatever screen a particular visitor is using, thereby negating the need for a separate mobile site.
It’s a topic we’ve looked at in more detail in posts about why sites should consider responsive design and another citing 10 great examples of ecommerce sites using the technology.
But while there are many benefits to using responsive design, there are still major problems to be overcome in regards to advertising.
At the moment ad formats are generally incompatible with responsive design, forcing site owners to either find hacks to rescale them or hide the ads altogether on mobile screens.
Responsive design is a hot topic in web design at the moment, as it allows site owners to tailor content to any sized screen from a single set of code - which is obviously very useful as the mobile web continues to grow in popularity.
Yet it’s still quite difficult to find examples of retailers that have embraced the technology.
This is particularly true among the top retailers that tend cling to their existing mobile sites and apps rather than going responsive.
Though responsive design is an all-encompassing way of building your site rather than a mobile strategy per se, for the purposes of this post I thought it would be interesting to look at which of the top 20 UK retailers use responsive design compared to those who have a separate mobile site.
Here’s what I found out...
One Web is a foundational website development principle for tackling today’s diverse, multi-screen world.
You may or may not have heard of it yet, but One Web will soon be acknowledged as the only way to build modern and future-proof ecommerce websites.
Responsive design is just one of a number of options available for businesses currently devising a mobile strategy, however it is seen by many to be the only sensible long-term option.
For the uninitiated, responsive design allows websites to work from a single set of code that resizes itself to fit whatever screen a particular visitor is using, thereby negating the need for a separate mobile site.
We previously investigated the benefits of the technology in our posts looking at why Google loves responsive design and this roundup of 10 brilliant examples of responsive design in ecommerce.
But as with any new technology there are also potential downsides that businesses need to consider.
With publishers serving more and more of their audience through mobile and tablet devices, it's no surprise that responsive designs are growing in popularity.
From the BBC and Guardian to Metro and Express & Star, the number of publishers jumping on the responsive design bandwagon is growing rapidly and for good reason: there's a lot to like about responsive design and done right, it's pretty compelling.
There is no longer a debate over whether online retailers need a mobile site, as consumer demand dictates that brands need to optimised for small screens.
However there are still several different options facing brands that want to create a mobile optimised site.
But the examples we’ve seen suggest that responsive design is currently more popular among design agencies and artists, while major ecommerce retailers have been slow on the uptake.
So to show how responsive design can be applied in retail, here are 10 examples of ecommerce sites built using responsive design...
Thanks in large part to the popularity of the open-source model, companies of all shapes and sizes have access to technologies that would have cost six and seven figures to develop in-house a half a decade ago.
From high-performance data stores to countless software libraries, there are plenty of open-source technologies that make building a sophisticated web-based service far less costly and time-consuming than it would have been.
Metro has become the latest newspaper to embrace responsive design as it moves towards a “mobile-first” strategy.
A blog post announcing the site redesign says that the company made the change “sure in the knowledge that mobile users are making up an increasing proportion of our visitors – and will soon be in the majority.”
According to our fourth annual Conversion Rate Optimization Report, produced in association with RedEye, the proportion of organisations designing their websites specifically for mobile phones has increased from 25% to 35% since 2011.
Therefore Metro.co.uk’s redesign is part of a wider trend – in fact we’ve previously reported on the BBC’s move towards responsive design, as well as USA Today’s new site that was built with tablet users in mind.
As part of the BBC’s move to responsive design it has launched a revamped version of its sport site that tailors content to mobile screens.
The main giveaways are the ‘m.’ URL and the fact that if you resize your browser on a desktop the elements on the page don’t reorder themselves.
Nonetheless, it’s great that BBC Sport now has a mobile site as it means reading live football score updates on a Saturday will be a much easier experience.
Here’s what I thought of the site...