According to Marketingland.com, Internet users use their mobile devices to access the web nearly 40 percent of the time. While the traditional desktop or laptop computer is not yet obsolete, these larger devices are quickly being replaced by smaller, mobile web-accessing devices such as smartphones and tablets. This large shift is bringing about other big changes as well, including the new need for businesses to use responsive web design.

What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive web design simply means web design that automatically responds, or adjusts, based on the device that the user is currently using. With responsive web design, websites and emails do not display at a certain width or in a set format, which can make them difficult to read on certain devices. Instead, the format of the pages automatically and fluidly changes its own shape and size depending on the size and shape of the screen it is being viewed with. This post shows the benefits of shape changing screens as opposed to flat out mobile websites.

Why is Responsive Web Design Important?

The size and shape of computer and mobile device screens are anything but standard. Screen sizes range from 96×65 to 800×480. Screens come in both squares and rectangles. Some devices display in portrait, others display in landscape and still others automatically switch back and forth depending on the way the user is holding the device. These varying sizes make creating one site that can be easily read across multiple devices incredibly difficult, if not impossible.

When users access webpages that are optimized for a different type of device, many problems can occur. Large charts may be cut off. Text may appear much too large or too small. Certain graphics may not display in certain devices. Large gaps of white space may display. All of these issues create a poor user experience and cost the website valuable traffic and dollars. By using responsive web design, businesses can ensure that their web content will be properly optimized no matter which device people use to view it.

How Can Businesses Incorporate Responsive Web Design?

In order to incorporate responsive web design, businesses need to work with their coding specialists. Experienced coding specialists are able to make small but important changes to a website’s design in order to optimize it for any device. These changes include displaying items in terms of percentages instead of fixed pixels and adding queries to detect the device used. With just a few small changes, a business’s webpages and emails can then be read easily on any device.