Web Design – Understanding the Buzz around Responsiveness!
Let’s start with Mashable. The online news site was quick in calling 2013 the year* of responsive web design (RWD). In fact, Pete Cashmore, the founder, went on to the extent of saying that with RWD, you only need to build your website once and can then make it work across different screens. The million dollar question: was he right? Of course, if you are a Cashmore follower, you’d say he was, but let’s find out.
Wikipedia** suggests RWD does aim at ensuring that your website can be viewed across a host of screens or devices. Does that mean you don’t need to build a mobile website? Honestly, no; not until you have your own reasons to. So, Cashmore was indeed right. Let’s dig deeper to find out why a normal web page design may not suffice anymore. Joshua Steimle, when writing for Forbes.com, warned that if a business (read: you) doesn’t use RWD to its advantage anytime soon, it may be at risk. In fact, he said that the switch must be made before 2014***, i.e. the coming year.
Let’s take a look at the reasons he gave and then decide if responsiveness is worth its salt:
Well, is everyone really doing it? Why don’t you check for yourself? Use Google Analytics and you’d get your answer. Save yourself the trouble; almost everyone (including your competitors) is indeed taking advantage of a responsive website design. Secondly, if the number of smartphones is rising by the day, chances are that you now have more users with these gadgets. More importantly, you shouldn’t have to spend much on RWD unless it was like a decade back when you last redesigned your site. What’s there to discuss now? You already know that no one (or a few people; whatever suits you) would use desktops in the future; so, that’s sorted then.