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Responsive design and why it matters

When I review Google Analytics data for various websites I am always amazed at the percentage of people who are now using smartphones and tablets to check their email and view websites. It increases every month, and if the sales data on desktop and laptop computers is any indication, the percentages are going to continue to rise.

So why is this important to your average website owner? I’ll tell you why. Imagine that your website actually ‘breaks’ if someone looks at it with anything other than a regular computer. The menu disappears, or content goes off the edge of the page, or the photos get cut off, the animations don’t work, or they get a warning that they need to download Flash (which doesn’t work at all on Apple devices). This is not good, and it really tells your viewer that you don’t care about your site and that your site has not kept up with the times.

That’s why responsive design is important. Responsive means that your site senses what device is being used to view it and ‘responds’ accordingly. If it’s a small ‘viewport’ like an iPhone, your site displays a different navigation menu, narrows the page, dispenses with some of the content along the side and many other behind the scenes changes. If it is being viewed on a tablet it knows what to do if the viewer flips it horizontally or vertically. The content flows beautifully, the images resize and all is well with the world and your website. You look hip and cool.

So when I design your website I may not mention this feature, but I guarantee that it will there working in the background, waiting to respond to the next change in technology.

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