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After a year or two of hearing the biz-tech media trumpet consumers’ shift to the mobile internet, marketers are taking a closer look at responsive web design (RWD), the emerging technology that promises every user a simpler, more satisfying experience.

It Really Is What’s Next
RWD sites are specially designed and coded so that when a visitor’s device type is detected—smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop—they serve up content that’s appropriately sized for that specific screen size. This is exactly what visitors want. Benefits for you, the website owner, include: understanding-responsive-web-design-2

  • Not paying to create and maintain separate sites for desktop and mobile traffic.
  • Longer, more rewarding user engagement (think: greater trust, brand equity, and ultimately, sales, especially on e-commerce sites).
  • Gaining an immediate competitive advantage, because rivals are likely still
    asking “RW-what?”

Think Mobile First

More and more companies are recognizing the growth of mobile and its effect on the buying habits of consumers. Website viewers want instant access to information. So website design requires that files and graphic images are kept small to ensure all website pages load fast. It’s best to design your mobile website first and then the desktop version.

Get Set To Vet
When interviewing prospective web designers, before enlisting their services, consider the following:

  • Ask about experience. Given the expected demand, it’s possible that some overly ambitious designers may be tempted to fudge their RWD qualifications.
  • Request samples. Look for sites that have the look or functionality you want. Ask explicitly if the work was done in-house (preferred) or outsourced.
  • Probe a little. Inquire about projects’ specific strategies and challenges. If the designer is vague, impatient or put off by your due diligence, find another resource.

responsive-WEBSITEJump In Now
The media reports are true: mobile has tremendous momentum. And soon, says CNET, a third of Internet search traffic will come from smartphones and tablets. Amidst this explosive growth one enduring tenet will hold true: respond to the market’s needs and the market will respond to you. Having a responsive website might just be the place to start.

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