More and more Internet users are making the shift from the desktop to their smartphones or tablets, new research is showing. Global financial services firm Morgan Stanley calls 2014 “the year that mobile internet usage will match desktop use,” a May 6 Bdaily.com article reported.
As mobile web usage continues to grow, so will the need for responsive web design, according to the Huffington Post. Rather than creating two separate websites, one for desktop users and one for mobile platforms, responsive web design allows a website to detect the type of device used and adapt to it, optimizing its display.
In June 2012, Google — which accounts for 67% of search engine market share worldwide — announced that it prefers responsive web design over other mobile web design configurations, according to the Huffington Post. The Bdaily.com article stated that a website that has one URL (rather than one for desktop users and one for mobile users) makes it easier for Google’s algorithms to evaluate the site; on-page SEO errors are decreased as well.
“With the ever growing number of ways individuals can connect online, having a responsive website simplifies a businesses’ ability to engage with prospects in a way that works with their preferred device,” says Keith Shirley of Blue Rise Media. “A responsive website removes a layer of complexity when considering the needs of mobile users, we are beginning to see more simplified effective websites that eliminate the need for specialized plug-ins/configurations for an ideal user experience.”
Responsive web design also improves users’ experiences while surfing the web, the Huffington Post stated. With responsive web design, users viewing a website from their phones or tablets don’t have to constantly zoom in or out to see the contents of a page. Research has shown that a user who has a positive experience with a website’s mobile version will be 67% more likely to make a purchase from the site.
As more and more companies and businesses see the benefits of using responsive web design, it will likely become a requirement, not an option, of website designers looking to stay ahead of the competition.