What is Responsive Design?

You’ve probably been hearing a lot of talk about Responsive Design lately. If this is something new to you, you’ve probably also asked yourself some of these questions: What exactly is Responsive Design? How does it work? And do I even need it?


Well, we’re here to clear up some of the confusion on the topic for you. Responsive design is an approach aimed at developing websites which provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices. Basically, the idea is to have one website which adjusts depending on what device (viewport) the user is viewing the site on. The goal is to have a site with a style and user experience that is consistent from a desktop web browser to a tablet to a smartphone.

As more and more web traffic moves over to mobile and tablet browsers, it’s critical to implement a strategy which makes it easy for your customers to navigate and transact on your site regardless of their preferred web-enabled device.

Mobile Growth Stats

It’s no surprise that most people in the world today have mobile phones. Statistics show that 91% of people on earth own a mobile phone and 56% of all people own a smart phone. This is a huge market that you need to take advantage of by implementing a good responsive strategy on your site. Currently, mobile traffic accounts for 15% of all internet traffic with adoption growing 8 times faster than web adoption did in the early 90’s and 2000’s. Studies show that 41% of people have used a mobile device to browse for a product after seeing it in a show or advertisement, so you definitely want to make sure that they can get to your site and find what they are looking for from a mobile device so you aren’t missing out on that potential sale!

And mobile isn’t the only market to target – 72% of tablet owners purchase online from their tablet each week! Tablets are quickly becoming ubiquitous in our society and are beginning to replace traditional desktop computers for a lot of people. 52% percent of tablet users say that they prefer to shop using their tablets as opposed to a traditional PC, with users nearly 3 times as likely to purchase from their device than smartphone users. This is what makes responsive design so important! You’d be putting yourself at a disadvantage by just implementing a mobile strategy with no specific focus on tablets.

Implementing a Responsive Strategy – Useful Tools

By now, you probably realize the importance of having a strong Responsive strategy. It’s easy to think you can just jump in and put something together. In reality, implementing a good responsive design strategy for your site takes a lot of planning and design. A lot of considerations need to be made for what the best user experience is on the different devices and how elements will adjust and snap into place in different viewports. Take your time and do your research. See what your competitors are doing and what some of the bigger companies in your industry do. Go to the drawing board and start mocking up how you want things to look. Don’t forget to get feedback from other people. You know your products better than anyone, so it’ll be easy for you to find what you’re looking for, but what about your customers? Make sure that the site is designed in a way that is user-friendly and makes it easy for customers to get around and find what they want on your site.

After you’re done designing, it’s time to build out those designs. When implementing a responsive strategy for your site, it helps to have the right tools for the job. There are a number of libraries that you can use as a starting point for your responsive theme. For a lot of our projects, we use the following frameworks to help speed up development.

http://getbootstrap.com/

http://foundation.zurb.com/

As you start building your theme, you can use some of these sites to test your theme on different viewports:

http://responsive.is/typecast.com

http://crossbrowsertesting.com

http://www.responsinator.com/

Need Help With Your Responsive Site?

The Redstage Team is here for you! We’re the leading agency in Responsive Design Magento Websites. Contact us to get a free quote for your project today!