Responsive website design is a digital design and development approach that ensures an optimal user experience no matter the device or screen size. The core mission of this method is to preserve the content, navigation and functionality of a website across multiple platforms—specifically, desktop computers, tablets and smart phones, among others—while delivering an optimal user experience with limited scrolling, resizing and panning.
By integrating responsive web design, organizations can utilize one URL, one code and a single set of content, versus creating multiple user experiences. The responsive design identifies visitors’ browser widths instantly, determining the available display space and adapting the layout through fluid, proportion-based grids and flexible images. Because of these adjustments the responsiveness may, in some cases, mean eliminating certain site functions or paring down content to maximize usability—a mobile user, for example, may need less information or, even, abbreviated access, while a desktop visitor will likely need to engage with a greater breadth and depth.
There are a host of benefits to leveraging responsive website design, chief among them the fact that mobile Internet usage has now eclipsed desktop access. More than ever, organizations need to deliver optimized, consistent, cohesive experiences across all platforms, to best engage consumer audiences and ensure long-term affinity. Beyond this clear-cut benefit, responsive site design also more cost effective than developing and building out, minimally, a mobile and a desktop presence—this also helps boost SEO by channeling visitors to one URL and, as a result, boosting its search rankings more than if impressions were split across two sites.
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