Responsiveness

If you have a website or send out an email newsletter, how many times have you viewed it on a phone or tablet? Is it easy to read and navigate? To find the information you’re looking for? To browse? Does it take a long time to load?

Those of us who started businesses before the era of smartphones tend to prioritize how our websites and newsletters look and function on desktop computers. But the statistics tell a different story. More than 50% of Google searches occur on mobile devices. Website traffic on mobile is nearing 60%. Around 66% of emails are viewed on phones.

As a consequence, it’s important that your websites and emails are “responsive”, that is, the design and functionality adapts itself automatically depending on what type of device is being used to view it.

For example, if the desktop version of your website has multiple columns, they should turn into a single column on a mobile device. If there is a large graphic with text, the text has to be readable at all screen sizes. Complex navigation on a desktop should be simplified for mobile devices.

Some are even starting to take a mobile-first approach to website and email design and development. The mobile-first approach asks what is the most important information for people to see and read, and to make sure that it loads quickly at the top of the screen on a mobile device. Google now offers “mobile-first” statistics for its analytics, and is prioritizing the mobile version of websites in its rankings.

It’s a different paradigm than the one that many of us are used to. But just as it’s important to be responsive to the needs of our customers and clients, it’s important that our technology behaves the same way.

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