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What is responsive web design and why it is the latest digital must-have

As regular train travellers and multi-screen advocates, the Brand chemistry crew get plenty of opportunity to catch up on great content, web design and social marketing.

As a result our hearts skip a beat when we land on a clearly thought-out site that makes a priority of mobile design. On the flip side, there’s nothing worse than settling in for a great read, when up pops a teeny tiny website that needs constant manual configuration, until you give up, thumb and index finger exhausted from working overtime.

Enter: Responsive Website Design, or RWD for short. Effective RWD optimises websites for desktop computers, smartphones and tablets of nearly every size. No more RSI from manoeuvring your fingers ever-so-carefully to tap the right menu button! A great RWD uses flexible images and fluid layouts to achieve great design and user experience no matter what device it is viewed on. Responsive web design is much more than a passing design trend. Thanks to the rise of mobile marketing, particularly in b2b, we like to think of RWD as a bit of a web design ‘must have’.

RWD doesn’t mean having a mobile site

In the past, webmasters shied away from the opportunity that responsive design presented because having a mobile site meant that content needed to be separately updated on your desktop site and your mobile site (= headache).

Not anymore. From a business point of view, responsive design takes away the need for separate website platforms for mobile and static sites, making it easier and much more efficient to update content. And from a user perspective, responsive design delivers a much more consistent and user friendly experience.

The benefits of RWD

  • Consistent and streamlined branding across all channels
  • Reduced development time and need for standalone sites
  • Improved conversion tracking and streamlined analytics
  • Increased marketing visibility
  • Better user experiences means increased conversions, particularly in e-commerce sites

The flipside of RWD

  • Some sites report a slower load time due to image upload
  • Content has to be extensively reviewed and planned to make sure that it is relevant on all mediums (but hey, you should be doing this anyway!)
  • Uniformity may reduce ‘unique experience’ as consumers may not want the same experience on all devices

B2b brands leading by example

Mozilla

It came as no surprise to find Mozilla raising the bar in the RWD stakes, and it’s a smart move for Mozilla to have a responsive website to advertise the responsive capabilities of their browser. Instead of just saying that their Firefox browser is fluid and responsive, they prove their claim by creating a seamless, integrated and beautiful design experience.

Squiz

Squiz is a leading Australian technology provider (and one of our favourite clients!): check out their site: it offers a fantastic example of how responsive design can enhance branding. The logos and content easily adjust for any screen and the background imagery is both clear and fresh. www.squiz.net.au is well organised and cleverly designed, which makes browsing easy and enjoyable.

And us..?

Of course! Just resize your browser window to see how the Bc website adapts to different screen sizes.

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Brand chemistry is a digital marketing agency focused on delivering quality leads and measurable results for our b2b clients. Take a look at our client case studies to find out more.

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