Responsive Web Design is expected by consumers and backed by Google
With the continued rise in mobile usage, and 'with 25% of internet users only using mobile devices', companies are adopting responsive design. Responsive design is typically more cost effective than maintaining different versions of our websites for various devices - even Google are recommending this as best practice from an SEO and experience POV. That's why we use it at Smart Insights!
Note though that the thinking "mobile responsive design is always the best option" may be oversimplistic. Yes it may be for smaller businesses, but for larger businesses who want to maximise conversion and experience adaptive design may be best. Our recent research on managing customer journeys shows that although responsive designs dominate adaptive is a valid alternative.
Still we felt that this infographic from Verve does a great job of raising awareness…
Our new mobile responsive home page and customer journeys
22nd August update: New library search and other updates
It's nearly a couple of months now since we redesigned the site to update our design style and to make the site fully mobile responsive on smartphone and tablet. In this note I just wanted to let members know about another round of updates.
Since the original relaunch we have updated our blog page template to be responsive too, so you can access our updates "on the go" more easily. Thanks if you left a comment with support - it's been nice to get a lot of positive comments!
We did have a few support queries about mangled layouts with the previous updates - this can happen when the previous design stylesheet is in your cache if you have accessed a page before. A simple refresh of the browser should sort this, you may need to do this for the the new…
Resources and examples to inspire effective mobile experiences
Responsive Design (RWD) is a key trend in creating effective online customer experiences driven by the need to cost-effectively build sites across desktop, tablet, phablet and smartphone.
I featured it at #13 in the digital marketing techniques that would be important in my 2014 digital marketing trends post and Smart Insights readers voted investment in mobile as the second trend with the most commercial potential for 2014.
To help marketers to create effective experiences we have featured many articles discussing best practice, examples and implementation for responsive design on Smart Insights through 2012 and 2013 which I thought it might be helpful to collect together here:
An Introduction to Responsive Website Design for Marketers
Planning your RWD
Case Study on Oxfam in Ireland on RWD
Examples and the Pros and Cons of Parallax Web Design
We are all more aware than ever that web design styles are shifting towards user experience as opposed user tasks and usability. Users demand to be engaged, entertained, educated and enticed into absorbing content online. Parallax web design, used in the right context, has the ability to deliver a really strong connection to an online brand experience, based on the interactivity of the website, the journey and the focus, realism and context given to the content or product.
Often, examples of Parallax web design focus on product examples, such as Google's Nexus 7 page, but I hope to show in this post that there are opportunities for other types of organisations such as B2B businesses or charities to use Parallax design for deeper engagement. The examples show that Parallax design can offer a more interactive version of infographics, better suited to…
A group debate discussing the best way to make your site work on all devices?
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of presenting at the J. Boye conference in Aarhus, Denmark about developing mobile optimised websites and applications. In the spirit of J. Boye I had decided to run an interactive session as opposed to the more traditional presenting method of lecturing people on personal experiences.
There was a fascinating cross-section of people from different businesses at the session. Among the 50 that attended there were people from a variety of industry sectors including banking, charity, government and other public sector organisations, pharmaceutical and many more!
The group was mostly made up of fairly senior people working across IT and marketing departments (with a fairly heavy emphasis on digital in their role!). Many, if not all, had some recent experience of…
Research on the top mobile sites and apps as rated by consumer experience
Earlier this year, Episerver carried out consumer research in the UK with over 1000 consumers, to evaluate use of the mobile internet and use of apps.
Consumers were asked if they are using mobile sites, the importance of features and their engagement with mobile apps. To ensure representation, the data findings were benchmarked with data from 30 retailers on the IMRG Experian Hitwise Hot Shops List.
This research gives a useful list of the leading retailers to benchmark your Mcommerce site and apps against:
Retailers were awarded points and scored to 100% on the following criteria which probed into key areas around UX including performance, engagement and zooming support.
The full report can be downloaded from…
Planning your Responsive Web design
You will have noticed that responsive web design has become a real buzz phrase in 2013. However, responsive design is not a new concept, in fact far from it. Making something that looks great on all browsers and across all platforms should be the benchmark for all web design. Reaching that benchmark requires Designers and Developers to slightly alter their outlook on a project.
There are a number of practices you can adhere to which will help to ensure your site is viewed in the best possible light. Below are some pointers both planning and technical.
Planning your Responsive Web Design
Responsive doesn’t just mean ‘squishy’. The majority of users will view these sites on different platforms, but won’t switch between them.
Just make sure the user can view the content in the most effective way. Alternate versions of sites are just as effective as a site that re-scales.
Building a website that predicts the future (sorry no lottery numbers included)
You will have heard a lot about responsive web design (RWD) over the last 12 months, everyone seems to have an opinion about this hot topic. This post discusses the issue from a different viewpoint, showing the importance of creating responsive websites for devices yet to be invented.
Often posts on responsive web design explain what it is and the benefits of this approach. Here, however, we focus on the best, and in our opinion the only, way to design a responsive website to avoid this problem...
Responsive design has gone the way of the Discman!
As with other web technologies, the more popular and common responsive web design becomes, the more we expect from it. Let’s have a bit of nostalgia to make our point.
Oxfam Ireland's new responsive design
With the dramatic increase in mobile site users all businesses are experiencing, there has been a lot of discussion of responsive design as an approach.
Responsive design gives the option to deliver a great experience for smartphone, tablet and desktop users without the need for creating a separate mobile optimised site or apps. So it can be a cost-effective solution.
If you want to learn more about the approach I recommend this primer on responsive design approach shared with me by Dan Croxen John.
Examples are often the best way to understand the potential of an approach, so in this post I focus on a single example which shows the benefits of the approach.
Oxfam Ireland responsive design example
I saw this Oxfam Ireland example mentioned in the excellent LinkedIn Web Managers Group and thought it was an interesting example of a responsive design that was worth sharing.
Consumer research shows the importance of getting mobile experiences right
The Going Mobile 2012 research by Foolproof undertaken from November 2011 to March 2012 assessed the quality of mobile user experience based on consumers' mobile behaviour and usage patterns. The research reveals some great practical insights around what consumers expect from their mobiles:
They see it as ‘big bang’ event: mobile is creating new time and space for consumers. Time that was previously unproductive or inert is now filled with mobile interaction. What are users doing with this time? What brands are they engaging with in this new, very intimate, digital space? Which tools and services create value for them...and which are just creating noise?”
Knowing the answers to these questions can be the difference between success and failure in the design of mobile services. Mobile helps today's time poor consumers to use 'dead time' easily and efficiently.