Feb 18, 2015
One of the more common requests we’re getting these days is for responsive website development and that’s a good thing because there are some great benefits to going with a responsive site. However, this also seems to be a common area of confusion. We’ll start by sharing some of the frequent misconceptions we encounter when talking to clients about responsive and mobile-friendly websites:
So what exactly do "responsive" and "mobile-friendly" mean? Let's take a closer look...
A responsive website is one that responds (or changes) based on the needs of the users and the device (mobile device in this example) that they're viewing it on. Here, text and images change from a three-column layout, to a single column display. Unnecessary images are hidden so they don’t interfere or compete with the more important information on the site's smaller display.
If you are on a computer, you can tell if a site is responsive by reducing your browser’s window size from full screen down to very small. If the appearance of the text, images and menu change as you get smaller, the site is responsive.
A mobile-friendly website is one that is designed to work the exact same way across devices. This means that nothing changes or is unusable on a computer or mobile device. Features like navigation drop-downs are limited, as they can be difficult to use on mobile. And no Flash animation is used. The website is literally the same across the board, with no usability concerns regardless of the device on which it is being viewed.
Well, we're going to break it down for you with a helpful little checklist…
You can achieve a more customized mobile experience with responsive design. However, it does require expertise, proper planning, and a bit larger budget.
Think about going responsive if:
You can achieve a consistent website experience across all devices with a simplified, mobile-friendly site. These sites may not have crazy features or functionality, but they just work.
Think about going mobile-friendly if: