Responsive design for mobile-friendly web sites

We've all seen people absorbed in using their mobile phones on the Internet… news sites, web mail, Facebook.  Have you ever wanted these people to pay the same kind of attention to your own web site?

responsive web design adapts to a mobile screen, so when your customers find your site through your online ads or Internet search, they have a comfortable experience arranged for them, to read your web site while travelling, waiting, or shopping.

The amount of browsing from mobile phones is increasing all the time, yet the very idea of responsive design in Ireland is almost untouched… meaning a huge competitive advantage in the local economy for small-to-medium businesses with responsive sites.

What is responsive design (vs. conventional design)?

Responsive, in this case, applies to variations in screen width.  Try dragging the right border of this window to make it narrower, enough to make the left bar disappear.  Then make it larger again, and observe how all the features adjust to make everything still visible and readable.

Better yet, go to this web site on your mobile, or a friend's, and observe how it shows in a single column with easily visible & clickable buttons and menus, just like your favourite mobile apps.  Then turn the mobile 90 degrees to see it fill up the newly available width.

The general problem, which COSD can now provide a solution for, is that conventional web sites are wide and mobile phone browsers are narrow.  Conventional designers make liberal use of columns and fixed feature sizes that position vital information, like your phone number, email, and most of your customer contact form, off the visible edge of the mobile screen.  That means panning around, inconvenience for your web visitor, and a lost mobile customer.

If you believe your web site may have a problem responding to mobile visitors, contact COSD for a free assessment of any liabilities for mobile visitors… or an honest confirmation that your site is mobile-friendly as it ought to be.  (This would also be a great time to contact us if you have been considering a web design proposal that doesn't have the mobile issue fully covered.)

Why does my business need a mobile-friendly, responsive web site?

Mobile Internet on the rise: In the first half of 2012, the amount of mobile Internet traffic passed 10%, a figure not including iPad & other tablet browsing.  The effective figure is much larger when you consider how much Internet users "on the go" are likely to browse, as opposed to solving specific problems, when in transport (commuter trains) or waiting (pubs, cafés).

The exposure to your web site will therefore reach an affluent public while they are at their most suggestible about purchasing decisions, outside of the demands of a work or home environment.  It's difficult to count on any web site visitor reading online copywriting these days, but just imagine your perfect customer sitting on a train for 20 minutes with nothing to do but follow the links on your mobile-friendly web site.

Online advertising support: Subscribing to Google AdWords syndicates your pay-per-click ads all over the Internet, through its display network, on sites that are used heavily on mobile devices: web mail, Facebook and online news sites.  Google Search itself is integrated with the most popular smartphones, both Android and the iPhone, and will show your ads even more readily.

Therefore, if your site is mobile-ready as well:

  • you will take advantage of your ad targeting when your visitor is guaranteed to have the time to respond, often in the process of making a purchasing decision
  • your mobile AdWords will point to responsive pages that clearly display your sales message, location, and contact information.

If your site is not mobile-ready, either:

  • Google is suppressing your ads, if it determines that your site doesn't display on a mobile, or
  • you're paying for a web visitor to click your link, then abandon your site when the information they need is too difficult to find.

Benefits of a responsive CMS design from COSD

  • Built with your choice of content management system, allowing you to modify and create new pages yourself, unless your site plan dictates otherwise
  • Vibrantly attractive template with modern browser features, with gradients and selected CSS3 styles supported even on standards-resistant browsers like Internet Explorer
  • Search engine friendly titles, headings, and navigation: all styled text, not images
  • Call-me and email-me buttons, for quick contact from your customer's mobile
  • Apple touch icons and favicon so your web site looks just like an app when bookmarked
  • Print friendliness and compliance with Internet best practices (HTML5 and CSS3)

Most of all, your responsive CMS design will be affordable on a small business budget.  You'll no longer have to envy the large businesses that can create mobile apps for their customers, since you will have a full-featured mobile application through your web site itself.

  • Contact COSD for
    • a free email quote for the creation of your new responsive web site, based on your detailed requirement
    • a free estimate of the cost for migrating your existing web site to a responsive design
  • Read on to E-commerce sites