Do you know your website’s bounce rate? A site’s bounce rate is how many users land on a site, only to click away in a few seconds. A high bounce rate means most users aren’t sticking around to read your site, which isn’t great for conversion—or SEO.
Poor mobile optimization is behind the high bounce rate many websites struggle with. Mobile users bounce more often. The average site loses 60% of mobile users in seconds, while a 42% bounce rate is typical for desktop traffic.
Responsive web design services solve this problem. Responsive design is key to improving website optimization across all devices. Responsive sites work with how people actually navigate the internet and respond accordingly.
As a result, people on responsive websites stay longer, bounce less, and are more likely to convert. People are even more likely to recommend responsive websites to their friends. So what does responsive web design actually respond to?
How People Navigate the Web
People judge websites in less than a second. And that split-second judgment is critical: 75% percent of users evaluate a site’s trustworthiness based on its design. On top of that, the typical user decides whether to stay on a site or not in under four seconds.
What looks bad instantly? Sites that:
- Load too slowly
- Have blurry or pixelated images
- Have too many elements
- Are unreadable (because the font is too small or the text veers offscreen)
A person’s judgment about whether a site is trustworthy and worth reading can change based on how they’re engaging with the site. 95% of internet users go online on more than one device.
Smartphones and desktops are the most common devices. Yet, tablets, SmartTVs, and even smartwatches can take people where they want to go online. In fact, 56% percent of internet traffic comes from mobile users. 33% comes from voice search, which could connect to any smart device.
A site that’s readable a lightweight on one device can become slow, overcrowded, or off-putting on another.
Window Shapes and Sizes
Beyond the device-specific factors, desktop and tablet users also frequently have multiple browser windows open at once to multitask. Many people online now will move or shrink one window so they can easily read the page while working on another task.
They may also change a window into a shape they prefer. If a person can’t continue to skim a site once they’ve shrunk the window, they’re likely to click away entirely.
Fortunately, responsive web design services can address all of these problems.
What Is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive web design is a method that allows a website to adapt to multiple screen shapes and sizes. A responsive website will change its size, layout, and even specific text and image elements in response to its context.
A responsive website knows what size screen it’s being displayed in. It also knows when a user changes their browser window’s shape or size.
Responsive sites use this information to adapt to their context. A responsive news site may display shorter headlines for the same story on a mobile device. A responsive fashion site may display images in a different layout, in different resolutions, depending on the reader’s device.
Responsive websites can even understand a device’s orientation and rotate its display accordingly.
Decade of RWD Innovation
Graphic designer Ethan Marcotte created responsive web design in 2010. Before he invented responsive web design, sometimes called RWD, all sites were created to fit comfortably on 800px tp 1024px screens. As screen sizes change, web designers adapted by creating sites with “liquid” layouts.
However, liquid layouts were cumbersome to create. Also, while they worked with different screen sizes, liquid layouts still didn’t make websites fit comfortably on mobile screens.
Finally, in 2010, Marcotte proposed RWD.
Marcotte was dedicated to improving website design. In the past decade, multiple technological innovations moved responsive web design forward.
Designers and engineers implemented tools like breakpoints to make resizing easier. As computer intelligence improved, developers created sites that adapted to their contexts better than ever.
Now, responsive web design is widely available, and it continues to improve.
Versatile Layout and Imagery
Responsive websites empower versatile layout and imagery. A site’s layout may be the most crucial factor in how people read it. As a result, it’s one of the most important design aspects.
There’s an inverse correlation between the number of elements on a site and user conversion. This means that the more elements a site has, the less likely anyone reading it will become a customer. In essence, clutter is off-putting.
Part of the problem is, the more elements a site has, the harder it is to navigate on mobile. If a user has to expand an image to see it clearly or maneuver past a sidebar that’s taking up their whole screen, they aren’t going to have a great experience on the site.
Yet, there might be multiple elements that are worth including on the page. Fortunately, a responsive design won’t require you to remove them. Instead, a responsive website allows you to include all necessary elements.
Then, it resizes and moves them automatically, to showcase what’s most important to each user. Responsive sites can even reveal elements to the user as they scroll–images and copy that the user couldn’t initially see.
This redistribution of elements makes any site easier to read.
Responsive websites automatically resize images. Typically, a responsive website design includes vector images rather than rasterized images. This ensures that an image isn’t reliant on pixels. A high-quality vector image looks smooth on a small screen, yet won’t become pixelated on a large one.
Another option is to incorporate variations on an image. Depending on the screen size, the responsive site will display a different layout. A designer can associate a different variant of an image with each layout. That way, users on a large screen can see the layout with high-resolution imagery.
At the same time, the mobile version of the page will have a lower-resolution image. Smartphone users won’t be stuck waiting forever for the mobile page to load, and they’ll still see the visual appeal.
Responsive sites can also incorporate content changes. Each layout variation is associated with a different screen display size.
Designers can choose different headlines, copy text, and even completely different images for each variation. This way, designers can keep a site’s aesthetic consistent across all screens, yet maintain the readability of each version of the site.
Responsive Websites Make an Impact
Responsive websites have made an impact worldwide. Every niche and industry has discovered that responsive sites are vital to improving site traffic. This is just a sample of the high-impact sites using responsive design to their advantage.
Fashion and design brands were some of the first to embrace responsive web design. Today, these brands’ sites are among the most striking.
The official site of the fashion brand Zara can inspire responsive web designers in any field. Likewise, the Andersson / Wise architecture site moves imagery beautifully in response to the user’s movement.
The majority of news sites incorporate at least some responsive design elements. Both the gaming news site Kotaku, and the international news media website The Guardian, have responsive layouts. The position of different stories and the size of different images, change as users manipulate their windows.
The Kotaku designers also incorporated headline variants. The actual text of a Kotaku headline can be slightly different depending on where you read it.
Art and Entertainment
Game designers and webcomics creators are innovating with responsive web design. Artist Pablo Defendini wrote a surprisingly persuasive essay on digital sequential art. His piece argues for a praxis for using responsive layouts to benefit your storytelling.
At the same time, game designers experiment to bring RWD to video games. How can a game adapt to offer the best possible experience for every gamer—regardless of what device they’re playing on?
Responsive Design: More Than Resizing
Responsive web design is about more than just resizing. Genuinely responsive sites use varied layouts, incorporate elements that reveal themselves at the right time, and display different copy text based on their context.
You can keep readers with any device on your site longer when your site responds to their needs.
Web Design Is Key to Improving Site Traffic
Responsive web design can decrease your site’s bounce rate. It can also increase your site’s traffic altogether.
Responsive web design can be key to improving site traffic. People are more likely to recommend well-designed sites to others, which improves traffic. These recommendations can be literally word-of-mouth, or they can come in the form of backlinks.
Backlinks and a low bounce rate can improve your site’s SEO. This pushes your site higher in Google search results, as Google finds your site more trustworthy.
Responsive websites also improve traffic by encouraging repeat visits. 75% of users visit a well-designed site more than once. Responsive sites reward scrolling and exploration by revealing more elements. These rewards cultivate positive associations and a good user experience.
More than any other factor, positive emotional associations lead to repeat visits.
Dated Design Kills Traffic
Conversely, unresponsive sites risk looking dated. As well as causing frustration for mobile users, unresponsive design is just less and less common among the world’s most popular sites. Judged by Alexa rank, 82% of the most popular websites are responsive or adaptive.
Do you remember all those odd design trends from the 1990s? Websites from 30 years ago often had elements like scrolling marquee text or animated .gifs that welcomed users to the site. Most web design elements from the 90’s look dated today. The typical user might cringe at scrolling marquee text today.
In the near future, unresponsive web design will seem similarly dated. That’s a problem when 94% of shoppers fin outdated sites untrustworthy.
Fortunately, you can make responsive, user-friendly design work for you.
Get the Most Out of Responsive Web Design Services
You want a user-friendly, future-focused site. You want users on all devices to read your site with ease. You also want results: more traffic, fewer bounces, higher conversions. This means you’re ready to implement responsive web design into your site.
But what should you prioritize? What matters most when you make your site responsive? You’ll get the most out of responsive web design services when you focus on these elements.
Mobile-first design lets you prioritize how your site looks to smartphone users before anyone else. While mobile sites may look odd on a desktop, desktop-oriented sites are often unreadable on smartphone screens.
App downloads, forms, and images all benefit from different mobile site layouts. It’s also more important for mobile sites to load faster.
The best thing a responsive site can do is encourage users to explore. Reward scrolling, skimming, and opening menus.
Make sure to make menus easy to read on all screens, while also making it easy for users to navigate to the next page. Don’t sacrifice a fast loading speed for responsive elements: you can have both.
Read, Chat, Shop
Responsive web design conversations often focus on articles and blog posts. But users also want to shop and chat on websites.
When the main elements of a site are responsive but the chat function isn’t, users get frustrated. If a user can shop in a downsized window while working in another, they’ll stick around longer.
Premium Responsive Web Design Services
Are you ready to improve site traffic? We offer premium responsive web design services that will fit your budget.
Our web design experts can bring any site into the future. We know what your company offers if unique. That’s why an adaptive site design is never one-size-fits-all.
Instead, we invite you to sit down with our experts. We’ll help you develop a responsive website that genuinely meets your company’s needs. Beautiful, elegant sites can increase engagement and bring more users to the table.
By communicating with responsive design, you’re telling your clients, “We care about your experience.” You’re showing them that you’ll give nothing but the best.
Show your clients what you truly have to offer. Talk to us.