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Responsive Design: The Here and Now

Michael Calabrese, Senior Developer

If your website is more than 3 years old, you need to read this blog.

Information is at our fingertips. We can easily see the latest news around the world, the latest trends, and stay in constant contact with business colleagues, friends, and even long-distance relatives. We access information from our desktops and more often than not, our mobile devices such as our tablets and smartphones.

Businesses can harness this immediate information culture by providing and organizing content in a way that customers can easily access and use. CDs were replaced by MP3s. VCRs were replaced by DVDs and Blu Rays. And now, the website has been replaced by the mobile, responsive site. Your customers are on their mobile devices. Are you there to be part of the conversation?

Evaluate Your Website

Take stock of what works now. Go to your iphone or Droid. Enter in your website. What does it look like? Do you have to zoom in to click on parts of your site? Do you have a big image that takes over the screen on a small screen? Does the image even load? If you can't swipe and touch elements on the site to access information, and it won’t load on the mobile device, your customers are likely abandoning the site and going elsewhere.

If your site runs well on mobile devices, great. Take the rest of the time and do a spring cleaning on your site. If not, it is time to start budgeting for a new look for your site.

You Don't Need Another Site For Mobile

One way to tackle this problem is through Responsive Design— meaning a site that responds to fit any size screen. With responsive design you don't need a separate website for mobile traffic. The site is built first for desktop, then with some basic formatting the layout is changed to work for various size screens. The trickf to this is starting with a good graphic design that lends itself to be used in a responsive design.

It's no longer enough just to be on the web. You need to present yourself on the device the customer uses and increasingly that is phones and tablets. Look at your site on a phone or tablet and if it's too difficult, you are losing customers. Make sure your customers and advocates can get your information immediately.

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