With the wider variety of ways to view websites on the internet coming into modern technology, graceful degradation is amongst the many functional ways web designers in Swansea such as ourselves are ensuring responsiveness in web design, this article will discuss this as well as the coming Google algorithm changes and larger target audiences as benefits of responsive web design.

User experience

The user experience aspect of responsive web development comes down to a few points, one of which is graceful and clean degradation between display screen sizes, this is a feature in which developers look to achieve success where applicable as it can dramatically improve the experience of the end user. Degrading the website gracefully has the end goal of ensuring the website is as functional on a mobile device such as a mobile phone or a tablet as it is on a desktop, the only thing it should lack on the mobile is some of the features added specifically for design purposes on a desktop size display screen. An example of the why responsiveness could be required is Android mobile phones, every screen size is different and the degradation would be required to accommodate for each size of display to ensure quality throughout.

Whilst using mobile responsive design improves the users’ experience, it is not to say that it is an absolute requirement as your website will still have usability, the only difference being the user will have to zoom in and out depending on what buttons they want to use or what content they want to read.

Google algorithm changes

With the recent developments in what some people are calling “Mobilegeddon” (a slightly harsh scare mongering way of looking at it), mobile responsiveness is something that will slowly be integrated into modern website design, but, as of right now and contrary to popular belief, it is not something which is an absolute necessity. Although Google has always recommended mobile responsiveness, nothing is in theory “enforced” in terms of penalisation until April 21st where slight penalisations for non-mobile responsive sites will take place.

In a nutshell, if your site isn’t mobile responsive, you will drop in ranks against sites that are mobile responsive only on the mobile platform, which although is a penalisation and a step towards mobile responsiveness being the norm, it is not a complete disaster for those without responsive sites.

Test your site with Google’s mobile responsiveness test.

Larger target audience

As you may have assumed, having a responsive web design is going to allow for a much broader target audience as you will have the ability to connect with people on any device. Modern society and technology has a large part to play in responsive design and development with as the Office for National Statistic article states; almost 70% of adults in the UK use internet whilst mobile. By “mobile”, this can be anything from a mobile phone to a tablet or laptop, which all as you already know have different size monitors, therefore having a website design that responds to these changes in size could influence the user to look into your website in more depth than your competitions (if they are not responsive).

Although having a responsive website is going to capture a larger target audience, again, it is not a complete necessity, do your research, do your competitors have responsive website designs, if so then it may be something to consider, if not, keep up to date with them and change when they do to make sure website costs are kept down at the beginning and only rise when required.

Are the benefits worth the money?

If you have done your research and all your competitors websites are mobile responsive from desktop to mobile phone dimensions, and you have analysed how many visits you get to your website from mobile devices (and it’s a percentage that would be ideal to keep or grow) then it may be worth considering using a company like Thomas Design who offer web design in Swansea and throughout South Wales to upgrade your website. But if you have weighed up and pro’s and con’s and you don’t value the investment of mobile responsiveness, wait until the 21st and see what sort of change you see in results and change when applicable.

If you would like any information on anything discussed in this article including graceful degradation, the Google update on the 21st of April or how you can hit a larger target audience, feel free to contact us!