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‘Do I look good on this?’ Do you want the truth?

Posted by Malcolm Iliff, on 23rd July 2014

What’s wrong with the way I look?

We admit to being particular about website design, but we bet you’ve experienced this too. You’re waiting in turn at Starbucks (or maybe you prefer Costa?), so you quickly check your email. Mmmm, a special discount from one of your favourite retailers: Apple, White Stuff, M&S (delete as appropriate). You click on the link. The site opens. Hmmmpph. Binoculars are required! The writing’s so small. Thumb gymnastics are also needed. You have to keep scrolling from left-to-right. And the tiny screen is crammed with unnecessary graphics. You can’t actually find the details of the offer! You give up. You buy your coffee, but not much else!

When more than 40% of web traffic is via mobile devices, you simply can’t afford to ignore the users’ experience of using your site on a mobile device.

You really need to change!

How do you change that? You use Responsive web design (RWD). According to Wikipedia:

“Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).”

Regardless of how visitors access your site, their experience of using it should always be positive. The usual points apply regarding: easy navigation, clarity and obvious Calls to Action. And with mobile devices so prevalent, consumer expectations of sites are very high these days. They’re also very easily distracted.  It’s easy to lose their attention - fast. Faster than they can say Cascading Style Sheets.

You may already know that effective websites are built using so-called Cascading Style Sheets. Why CSS? In the words of Wikipedia: 

“CSS is designed … to enable the separation of document content from document presentation, including elements such as the layout, colors, and fonts. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentation characteristics, enable multiple pages to share formatting, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content.”

CSS essentially changes the lens that the consumer is looking through. Regardless of whether they are using a PC, laptop, tablet or mobile phone, CSS ensures that the site is presented in a way that suits the size of the device. CSS also takes into account whether they’re using that device in landscape or portrait mode, adjusting the layout accordingly.  Your website pages remain readable and easily navigable, however they’re being viewed.  This adjustment is done automatically by the CSS software and is known as Responsive Design. And tablets and mobile devices respond best to responsive design!

What are the advantages of responsive design? 

Good responsive design leads to increased conversion rates and sales. For example, touch-sensitive phone numbers and addresses can be placed in easy-to-find and easy-to-use positions on a mobile device – usually on the home page. If your website is an e-commerce site, improvements can be made to ensure that those e-commerce elements can be made far easier to use on mobile devices.  

Good responsive design overcomes the difficulties we mentioned at the start by re-organising the page, graphics and font sizes to ensure easy reading and navigation. So the chances are high that once the visitor finds your site, they are more likely to stay with it and use it. The longer they stay, the higher the chance their visit will result in an enquiry or purchase. And your site will probably rank higher in search engine results too.

Using responsive design you can also monitor how your visitors are accessing your site and which devices they’re using to do so. This means that you can review the success of your marketing campaigns by marketing channel, and concentrate on those channels that offer the best results.

I’m not sure my budget will stretch to that

We can’t deny that it’s a little more expensive to incorporate responsive design, because of the additional care and consideration that is taken when designing a site for multiple devices. However, it’s a very worthwhile investment. You won’t grow out of it quickly! We’ve also seen what happens when you don’t incorporate responsive design. It’s all abit embarrassing. Leads and potential sales are lost.  

Are you really going out dressed like that?

Of course, you don’t have to incorporate responsive design into your site. Just like you don’t have to follow the latest fashion!  But, whilst we’re very happy for you to wear whatever you like in public, we think you should certainly consider being on-trend when it comes to your website. If you’re marketing your products or services to a younger generation, responsive design is no longer optional. It’s a must-have accessory! It’s a worthwhile investment!

What do best-dressed sites look like?

Here are a couple of examples of responsive sites we’ve built: 

http://www.hrhiggins.co.uk for HRHiggins Coffee merchants

http://www.gnlaw.co.uk for Guile Nicholas, Solicitors

May we give you some professional fashion advice?

We provide complimentary website reviews to help you make the right decision about how to improve or re-dress your site. We’ll answer the question ‘Do I look good on this?’ truthfully!

Like to know more?

If you’d like to know more about how CBJ Digital Ltd can develop a site that will really work for you and your customers anywhere, please contact questions_answered@cbjdigital.com or visit http://www.cbjdigital.com

We’re here to help!


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