In the world of PR, marketing and communications, having a website is not only useful for promoting a business, it’s a prerequisite. It’s a powerful communication tool that is used for attracting customers as well as advertising your products and services, and should be built to the highest possible standards.
In years past, most users accessed the internet using home or work computers, meaning websites were always designed with the fact that they were going to be displayed on a big screen in mind. Since the proliferation of tablets, mobile phones and other devices, however, this has changed. Users are accessing the internet from more mobile devices at an increasing rate – with the USA spending an average of 71% of their online time on a mobile device – and, as such, web developers have been quick to match this trend with increasingly flexible websites.
This approach is called responsive web design and suggests that the design and function of a website should cater to the user’s behaviour, preferences and environments based on the screen size and orientation of the device it appears on. Using a mix of flexible and intelligent layouts, grids and images, a responsive website can accommodate for image size, resolution and scripting should a user view it from different devices such as their tablet or desktop. This is also true for responsive typography, meaning the fonts and typography you use will shift accordingly.
The reason why every business should adopt this method of web design is that it allows you to design only one website which can thereafter be scaled to any future devices. It creates an optimal viewing experience and allows for intuitive and easy navigation and reading. It’s an effective way of catering for numerous different customers with one overarching approach.
Another method for adapting web design for mobile devices, adaptive web design differs from responsive web design in the fact that there is no constant layout. Rather, several distinct layouts are created for a number of different screen sizes in advance. The site will determine the size of the screen being used and will retrieve one of the layouts from standby and apply it to the device. You can check this out to learn more about web design.
Which is better?
It’s almost always safer to go with responsive web design at the end of the day. Responsive sites are a little bit harder to make since they require extra attention to the site’s CSS to make sure it scales properly to any screen size. However, it loads faster than an adaptive website since it doesn’t have to load all the possible layouts. They’re also generally more flexible, as adaptive websites only work for as many screen layouts as they have templates for.