Reach Your Audience

With popularity of mobile devices increasing along with the number of mobile users, it is essential to communicate your message, product, or company across a wide audience with a responsive front-end. “The web isn’t a simple, elitist, or geeky place anymore. It is no longer enough to create sites for the desktop user alone because many users don’t even access the web from a hardwired machine anymore,” our lead designer Shane Baldauf states. In order to reach your audience, provide a larger scope of viewing possibilities for all potential users, and don’t exclude them based on their chosen device.

The expectations of the user are at an all-time high and will continue to advance along with technology. A site that does not have a current and easy navigable experience undermines the credibility of the institution it is meant to represent. “And,” Shane reminds us, “in a global society of short attention spans, responsive design is really the only way to currently ensure a steady and consistent experience on all devices.”

Convince Clients

If a client doesn’t know the importance of responsiveness, or didn’t approach you asking specifically for a responsive site, how do you convince unknowing or unbelieving clients? Asserting the content above is a great start. It is also important for institutions to understand that Google will penalize non-mobile sites in search engine rankings, making it even harder for a company to be visible to potential customers.

As noted by our project manager, Lauren Baker, responsive might not always be the best solution for a client. “When there is a large amount of content (IE portfolio images, project samples, etc.) it may be best to build a separate mobile site that contains scaled down assets (to limit loading issues that may occur on a responsive framework) but also embodies the full website’s branding and overall message.” And as long as the website properly redirects for the mobile site, that quicker loading time means a better search engine score.

Design Responsively

In our previous blog post, we discussed four ways to implement a responsive website. Keeping in mind that creating a separate mobile site is not technically a responsive solution, which way is FIREANT’S chosen method for our clients? Since each client is different and has a different audience, different methods are needed to suit their different needs. Is fast performance the most crucial? What device is their target audience using the most?

When it comes to different methods and frameworks for completing a responsive design, some are time-savers, some incorporate pain-free styling, and some tailor to performance. For many projects, FIREANT uses Susy by Oddbird as a framework and develops custom interactions and layouts on top of that, ensuring a site has the functionality it needs with the look the client craves.

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