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The growth of hand held devices among users to access the net

Users have taken to multitasking or carrying out errands on the go; with a slew of smart phones and tablets have taken over the task of making all our fast paced lives easy. These devices have also changed the approach toward design and user experience; by means of providing advanced web-browsing capability thus posing web designers with one key challenge- retention of the appearance and functionality of a given website on these smaller screens as well. Now certainly accessing websites on smart phones and tablets is not comparable with the same action on a desktop or a laptop. Primary aspects such as the use of a mouse for a click whereas you need to touch the screen for navigation on a phone; likewise size of the screen, difference in screen sizes and  pixel-resolution, support for Adobes Flash technology, etc. Now how do we create or alter the existing website to suit these convenient devices?

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What exactly is a responsive design?

Responsive Web design is a design that insists that design and development of a website should not alter the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform or orientation of the device used. A set of flexible grids and layouts, images and intelligent deployment of CSS media queries are simple steps to making your regular site responsive. Conversion of PSD to responsive slices these static PSD files into responsive templates thus facilitating a restructure or modification of these files which can be used to build back a responsive website. A mobile responsive site is a path breaking means to a greater reach of a target audience which delivers them the exact content they are looking for, within their required context in this case their mobile device.

Now consider the following points in favour of a responsive web design to be adopted-

•     There are studies which indicate that a substantial amount of Google searches originate from a mobile device, the figure is just growing.
•     Focus on a positive user experience on mobile sites, a bad experience is good enough to frustrate a user to the extent of not wanting to return to the website ever.
•     Increase of blogging and social media activities via the mobile.
•     Responsive website Design gains precedence in SEO.
•     A Responsive web design implemented on your website now also helps your website adapt to future devices. It is important here to note that the key aspect of a responsive design is that the size of the template is structured based on a given screen size and not a device. This simply means that the output of a website is uniform irrespective of a screen size. So for all the futures mediums to access the web such as a television or a watch, your responsive website will still perform.

Note the following technical aspects as well-

•    Responsive design of your website still uses the same URL for a piece of content making it convenient for the users as well as helps Google’s algorithms assign the indexing properties for this content.
•    There is also no question of re-direction for users so as to obtain the device-optimized view thereby bringing down the loading time.
•    For responsive web design pages, a given Googlebot user agent needs to crawl over your pages once, as against having to crawl a number of times with different user agents, so as to retrieve content. This improvement in crawling efficiency helps Google index more of the site’s contents thus keeping the content fresh as well as saving user and search engine resources.

It can be concluded that given these trends having a responsive web design has become imperative with its capability to impact the growth of your business directly. Web designers and developers today are required to certainly upgrade their skill sets to match design requirements of a client- Responsive web design as a service is increasingly being sought after by businesses who wish to establish their online presence first.