By 2014 mobile/tablet usage is set to eclipse traditional desktop usage for the first time. With 1.7 billion users browsing on mobile & tablet devices it’s time to get responsive.
With this figure in mind we need to start thinking very differently about the way we design and build websites. For the last 2-3 years web designers have been talking about ‘responsive’ and ‘mobile first’ web design, which means approaching your website from a mobile & tablet users point of view first and then working backwards to the more traditional desktop. A responsive website will adapt itself to whatever particular device you are viewing it on, so the days of needing to ‘Pinch to Zoom’ to read content on mobile devices will be gone as the site will adapt itself, this includes changes to everything from layout, content, copy size & image size.
This approach allows us to focus on the content first and give the user exactly what they want straight away. We can then add to the experience as the site physically grows across mobiles, tablets and desktops. It also enables innovation in ways of serving content which would not have been thought about previously.
Another advantage of this method is the lack of needing a mobile specific website so there is only one set of content to worry about and update, meaning less work for you!
Here are a couple of examples of Responsive Web Design
(move your browser window in and out you’ll see the responsive breakpoints working their magic):
With mobile web browsing set to become the preferred method of accessing the Internet, it’s time to start shifting our perceptions. The traditional desktop website will now be an extension of the mobile website and this will now be our approach to any web project.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the digital workspace as we are on the brink of some huge changes in how we consume our digital content and what we are going to be consuming that content on. Of course here at Stuff we are perfectly placed to help you deal with these changes.
Paul Jackson – Stuff’s Senior Graphic and Digital Designer