As mobile internet usage continues to gain share of the search market, desktop sales remain stagnant. The writing is on the wall that the future points to a greater and greater share of transactions via mobile devices. This outlook is somewhat complicated by the fact that some web owners have tried to cater to both worlds by developing two separate sites. The solution for building just one website that works for both desktop and mobile optimization is Responsive Web Design.
Adapting to the Mobile Evolution:
Historically web developers prioritized their designs for desktops. As mobile internet popularity surged with the iPhone in 2007, which attracted a wave of competing smart phones, developers quickly learned that their designs for desktops had drawbacks for mobile users. The biggest disappointments involved bandwidth issues and the fact that smaller screens did not display content as attractively as sites designed for desktops. Robust sites took too long to load and displays were compromised due to screen size.
The initial solution was to build two separate websites and optimize one of them for mobile devices. But tablets proved to be a turning point by offering bigger screens, like a step between smart phones and laptops. Apple’s iPad spawned competitors as four operating systems emerged as the pioneers of the mobile internet revolution: iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows. The rise of multiple mobile platforms along with multiple browsers that displayed web pages differently it and demanded a cross-platform solution for mobile web design.
Responsive Web Design:
Responsive Web Design was introduced by Ethan Marcotte, who shared his ideas for cross-platform coding in his 2011 book Responsive Web Design. He simplified web design by reducing the amount of coding, using cascading style sheets (CSS). By concentrating on fluid layouts instead of fixed or liquid layouts, he made images look more presentable on mobile devices. Fluid layouts are based on resizable proportions to fit a particular screen size, whereas fixed layouts are determined by a fixed number of pixels. He also upgraded the interactive experience on mobile devices with elegant CSS3 media queries coding.
Why Mobile Optimization Matters:
Mobile optimization is important because it provides a solution for the increasing popularity of mobile, which is particularly helping local brick and mortar businesses as consumers look for places to shop while they are on the go. Ultimately, Responsive Web Design speeds up and simplifies web design for screens of any size, even big screens. Search engines are also starting to favor Responsive Web Design.
via [via InspiriaMedia].
By Nick Simard