Website design trends come and go so quickly, it can be hard to sort out the difference between real paradigm shifts and passing fads. Designers and developers have to decide if what’s getting all the buzz today is a “must do,” or just something to talk about. If you are wondering which camp responsive design falls into, perhaps this blog will help.
1 – The Growth of Mobile is Staggering
According to comScore, a leader in digital activity measurement, mobile commerce is predicted to account for $7.9 billion of retail spending during the 2014 holiday shopping season. That represents a growth rate of 25 percent vs. last season. According to analyst firm, IDC, 87% of the worldwide smart, connected device market will be tablets and smartphones, with PCs (both desktop and laptop) being 13% by 2017. Have no doubt, we’ve passed the tipping point for mobile.
2 – Visitors Have High Expectations
There was a time when users were just happy to be able to access the web from their phones and were willing to be patient with slow load times and difficult to use websites. Those days are over. Google’s Think Insights on Mobile tells us that if a user comes to your site on a mobile device and isn’t able to find what they are looking for or is otherwise frustrated by the experience, there’s 61% chance they will leave immediately and go to another website. Pay attention to the last part, they don’t just give up. They go visit your competitors.
3- Responsive Design Helps SEO
We’ve written a bit more in depth about this before, but the bottom line is that Google favors responsive websites in search results. This matters because, according to them, 48% of mobile website visits start with a search. There’s just no reason to give the search edge to your competitors.
4 – Social and Mobile are Intertwined
If your brand, like many, is focused on an in-bound, content oriented strategy, ignoring the mobile experience is an enormous mistake because social and mobile go hand in hand. Take Twitter, for example, 75% of Twitter traffic comes from a mobile device. In addition, 18-44 year olds spend 84% of the time on their mobile device on social networks.
5 – More Devices are Being Introduced All the Time
User appetite for mobile devices is so strong that manufactures are releasing new devices of different sizes all the time. There’s no use in trying to predict which one will be the next big thing. If your website is responsive, it will look and work great on any size device, so you don’t have to predict the future.
In short, you should care because responsive design will make your visitors happy, improve your search rankings, generate social engagement, give you an edge over competitors, and make your life easier. Who doesn’t want that?
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