Responsive Design- Are You Mobile Ready?Aman Singh
Whether it’s online banking, shopping for shoes, or just searching Google to find DIY tips, most website administrators will tell you that their analytics are showing a huge change in the way their audiences are viewing data. In fact, according to Statista, traffic from mobile devices surpassed desktop traffic in 2017, accounting for almost 53% of global online traffic. That’s not all — over 65% of time spent on the internet is on a mobile device. As countries across the world introduce faster mobile networks and cheaper data plans, more and more people are using their phones to browse the internet. Desktops and laptops with familiar screen resolutions are losing their hold after many decades to mobile devices, and it is very crucial for every website owner across the world to sit up and take notice.
In recent years, advancements in screen technology have rapidly increased. In laptops alone, resolution in the number of pixels per inch (PPI) has at least doubled thanks to what is often referred to as “Retina Displays”. However, it’s not just laptops, but also mobile devices where manufacturers are innovating their displays to pack in more pixels per inch. This is important for anyone with a website because it now means their sites need to adjust and best display their content on a browser that is used on any device — whether it’s a laptop, desktop or a mobile device. This is not just relevant for text and vectors, but images too, such as logos.
Mobile Friendly vs Responsive
It is important to note there is a great difference in a website being mobile-friendly and a website being responsive. A site that is mobile-friendly is designed to work the exact same way across devices which means that essentially nothing changes whether the user is using a computer or a mobile device. A responsive website design (RWD) responds and changes based on the needs of the users and the device that they’re viewing it on. Functionality for both concepts generally remain the same but how the site is viewed and interacted with can change greatly. It is not enough just to be mobile-friendly in today’s age of mobile devices, tablets and laptops; how a site is experienced is of great importance and thus the need for responsive design.
What does Google have to say?
In 2015, Google introduced a set of recommendations for responsive web design. These recommendations provide designers and developers with some guidance on how to build websites that not only look great and function on a desktop browser, but also on any mobile device. To note, these are recommendations and not necessarily standards. It provides the ability for websites to be fluid, which is important because there is an increasing number of devices today that have different aspect ratios and screen resolutions. This number will only increase in the future. Therefore, responsiveness helps designers and developers create websites that can be viewed on older, current and future mobile devices. This is even more important because Google, which accounts for the most searches on the Internet today, introduced a mobile-first indexing approach for websites. This means they are giving search ranking priority to responsive websites that can adjust smoothly to mobile devices.
As well as search ranking, responsive design can help improve brand image, which can result in higher conversion rates as well as providing a faster, more unified browsing experience across devices. Analytics and reporting can all be centralized – meaning you don’t have to set up multiple solutions to track metrics across different browsers and devices. The time and cost of content management are also decreased and having a presence on more devices means greater customer reach.
Today, many of the most popular website and application platforms contain tools for responsive web design (RWD). In Oracle WebCenter Portal, for example, the most popular approach is to work with skinning, which Oracle recommends. You can use traditional HTML and CSS to define the structure of the page, also known as “coarse-grain elements,” and combine it with traditional application development framework (ADF) skinning as a hybrid approach to achieve great responsiveness of Portals. You can easily target display and use of elements for specific devices with pre-configured device settings for the latest smartphones and tablets. Furthermore, you are given the ability to add more device settings and resolutions at run-time as more devices with varying capabilities are released in the future.
For more information and to discuss the development of your sites, whether using Oracle WebCenter or another platform, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.