Size Does Matter - Responsive Web Design & the Mobile Marketplace

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ANTHONY SAVINO

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So you have a website and you are hoping to reach the growing population of web surfers who use their smartphones or tablet PCs to access all things digital? Most companies that are looking to access the mobile world have ensured that their online presences are optimized for search but many do not understand that they have to also optimize for screen size and accessibility.

Responsive Web Design or RWD has gone from being a buzz-term at tech conferences to a very serious aspect of doing business in the digital age. With each new device (and possibly new screen size as Samsung has shown with their new smartphone) a website has to be ready to provide a rich user experience similar to that available on a traditional desktop or laptop. In some cases, the user experience is more important on the mobile devices, especially if the goal is to influence immediate decision by people on the go.

For example, you are a night spot that is hoping to attract people to happy hour or a special event. You may run a promo on a site like GroupOn or maybe you are sending an e-mail or a series of tweets with a landing page URL. If you are looking to influence decision makers beyond the call to action that was promoted, then you better be damn sure that the site and/or landing page you are driving people to will be easily readable and navigable regardless of the screen size of their device. If it isn't you may have not only have lost an opportunity to gain a new customer but you may also hurt the overall reputation of your company.

Responsive Web Design when applied properly can alleviate the issue of varying device screen sizes. And while there are companies that might offer a simple solution for this for a subscription charge, the best way to handle this is to have your web designer build your site to address device screen size from the beginning. And if you have an existing site but are leaning more and more to the mobile marketplace, it is important to seek out a web designer who understands how to upgrade the site code properly.

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