We are taking it with us wherever we go. The web used to be on our desktop behind our computer monitor but not any longer, it has been set free and placed on just about every conceivable screen size.
We never know as website owners what size screen the visitor will use, so websites need to be elastic to to fit a range of screens. This is known as responsive design.
It is not about creating a design for the iPhone, a design for the iPad and then a design for the computer. If things are done correctly the website should respond for all of those devices and for devices that haven’t even been created yet. A flexible design that will adjust like liquid being poured into a container.
Google says that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice. One website, one access point for multiple devices.
Internet browsing is transient
People regularly move from device to device to complete tasks. For example, someone searches for a product on their smartphone during a lunch break at work; they find a website with the product they’re looking for and decide to continue on their computer when they get home. Usage patterns show that this is the way visitors are behaving, so much so that Google have created syncronised browsing. If you are signed in Google Chrome will copy open browser tabs from mobile to computer and vice versa, totally seamless browsing.
It is clear to see that visitors need to be convinced by the mobile experience to ensure that they move on to the next step of buying a product or signing up to a service.
Different screen sizes cannot be ignored and everyone hope for the best. New websites today should have an elastic or responsive design.
Here are some interesting stats showing the increase in Smartphones and usage patterns.