September 18, 2012
While mobile web browsing grows in popularity, more businesses need to recognize the benefits of responsive design and adjust their mobile web UI design strategies. According to Multichannel Merchant, consumers are going to begin to demand responsive design for every device. This means developers are going to need to adjust their habits in order to meet the demands of both their customers and the general public.
Responsive web GUI design brings with it unique complications, however. Developers need to ensure that content is compatible with HTML5 and CSS3, and that images resize for the various resolutions and screen sizes of mobile devices and traditional desktop and laptop computers. Additionally, with Apple's new Retina display, graphics and fonts have to be of a high enough quality to look good on both high-definition and traditional screens.
These issues pale in comparison to the need to balance content. As screen sizes change, consumers will be able to view only so much content before they have to scroll up or down, and trying to balance a page layout for an iPhone and an Android tablet is tricky. According to the news source, many sites over- or under-serve content, never getting it quite right. However, designers need to keep in mind that the observer generally doesn't need to consume the same amount of content on a smartphone as he or she does on a 21- or 24-inch monitor. This is the premise of responsive design, making it so the GUI design expert doesn't have to rethink the code.
These benefits become more necessary as more consumers purchase smartphones and tablets and surf the web on them. Demand rises, and developers must meet the need or risk losing business. Luckily, responsive design fits the bill cleanly.
By investing in responsive design for its website and related services, a business can meet the needs of all its customers, whether they visit the site on an iPad or an "antiquated" desktop. A company will be able to adhere to the latest design standards without alienating customers who aren't on the mobile device bandwagon, and still compete with the latest trends. The benefits from responsive design are practically immeasurable, but in order to remain competitive in today's web market, a business needs to use every tool to its advantage.