One Site to Rule Them All: Why Responsive Web Design Matters

24 Mar 2014

There are some big things going on at Ticketsolve at the moment around responsive design. Over the coming weeks we will fill you in, and take you step-by-step through why responsive design is so important, what the changes are, and how it will affect you and your patrons (hint: responsive design improves patron purchasing experience across multiple devices). What is Responsive Design? In a nutshell, responsive design is about creating websites that are fluid and adaptive. Sites developed with responsive design give a consistent user experience regardless of device, platform or browser. But we already have a site that is optimized for mobiles! Let’s take a look at a concrete example. Joan uses her mobile phone to look for tickets, whilst on her lunch break. After work, she pops onto her laptop to do more research. Then in the morning at work, she purchases her tickets from her tablet. It is crucial that Joan has a consistent user experience no matter what device she uses. A poor user experience will most definitely negatively impact the purchase and likely future purchases. But Why Responsive Design? There are four core reasons responsive design is a must for websites today. 1. Consistent user experience across platforms, devices and browsers. 2. Future proofed for new devices and platforms. 3. Google friendly. 4. Easier site management: One Site For Every Screen. Future Proofing your Site Consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to research purchases and complete their purchases. Responsive design ensures they can do that. But it is more then just optimizing for tablets or optimizing for mobile phones. What are future devices, platforms and browsers we will be using? Responsive design let’s us future proof our sites so they are ready for any new devices or platforms that come on stream. Google Friendly Google has publicly stated its preference for responsive design, and now weights the user experience when ranking websites. From Google, "It keeps your desktop and mobile content on a single URL which is easier for your users to interact with, share, and link to, and for Google's algorithms to assign the indexing properties to your content." If you rely on Google for web traffic (and who doesn’t these days), responsive design is a must. Easier Management: One Site for Every Screen At present, sites are optimized for mobile, tablet, desktop, laptop, etc., separately. Ideally, we would have one design that can automatically adjust given the device, platform etc. Responsive design does just this, and eliminates the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market. Content is developed once and delivered across all platforms. This not only increases our marketing opportunities, but also makes it much easier to add on complimentary services – across all touch points. Importantly, we need to assess all aspects of the site - images and text – and think about how these elements will work on a variety of screens, devices and Internet access points. For example, a beautiful website on a desktop that loads painfully slowly over 3G, will frustrate users and misses the point of responsive design entirely. Jeffery Veen, author of The Art and Science of Web Design, sums it up well: “Day by day, the number of devices, platforms, and browsers that need to work with your site grows. Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.” We will be detailing more about this change at Ticketsolve and will be in constant communication with you. What do you think? We would love to hear from you about any questions you have about responsive design.

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