Responsive design isn't as hot a topic as it was earlier in 2013, but its importance for businesses and brands couldn't be more paramount than it is now.
People have more ways to access the internet than ever before, and designers and developers have been able to create a seamless flow between the number of devices and portals that connect us to the World Wide Web.
We've all heard that "content is king" but who reigns over the kingdom when people can't access your content? As the internet makes its way into smaller devices, being able to access your content can make or break your rule.
Responsive design is no longer an option if you look at the rapid growth of the smartphone and tablet industry and how people are using them to access the internet. By the end of June 2013, 253 million unique mobile subscribers were recorded in Sub-Saharan Africa, and around 189 million Facebook users were "mobile only". In a recent report by marketing research agency, Columinate 37% of mobile device users said that they use their device every hour of the day that they are awake. 63% said that they use their phones while shopping and 63% while socialising.
As a business or brand, that equates to a large number of potential leads or sales, and common sense would tell us that designing for a number of devices will get your product or service to more interested parties.
It makes your life easier
Because a responsive designs aim is to make your life easier, you can do away with the headache of having to constantly worry about your mobile support. Overall SEO for your site will be easier, updating your content from website to smartphone or tablet can be done in one swift move and because it's all linked you can have better and more accurate analytics: think better lead and conversion tracking if you are a business.
Another important aspect of responsive is that it allows for a consistent look and feel, and if you have spent a large part of your budget designing a brand identity, you won't feel like you are losing out when it comes to cross-platform promoting, and your customers will continue to have that brand familiarity.
As more people access the internet through their smart devices, marketers are seeing the best ROI is from fully integrated marketing programs. By being easily accessible to your customers they are able to continue their journey through your website or content at a time that best suits them. The need to "remember to check out" a site when they get home is gone as search and sales can now be uninterrupted and instantaneous.
Google loves it
Google have already stated that they prefer a responsive web-design as opposed to sites created specifically for mobile, and with the constant changes that Google make to their engine, why not take their word for it and run with their preferences?
Google loves responsive themes so much that they have even dedicated an entire section to getting users to think multiscreen when it comes to building websites. This section focuses on showing you how to build a website that will make your business look its best for users, regardless of what device they are using. www.google.com/think/multiscreen/
Responsive is growing up, out of its teething stages and the adaptation for responsive is only going to grow as more platforms and devices improve on their internet capabilities. By introducing a solution to tackle multiple devices by using one method, both users and designers can integrate with a system that is easier to manage and overall, easier to use.
There was a time when having the internet was a home base privilege and the entire family would share one desktop computer, but that age is long behind us. The internet is everywhere, and more interactive than ever. As a business, are you capitalising on this?