I was hanging out with some friends the other day and I saw one of them pull out an old-school flip phone to make a call. I was immediately struck by the resemblance in how we tend to look down our nose at old technology and how consumers tend to snub website designs that are not responsive.
Think about it – when was the last time you saw someone whip out a non-smart phone? The little finger scrolling motions we all make when cycling through our messages and mail has become a ubiquitous sight in any public setting. A phone without finger scrolling? How gauche!
Well, our customers look at website and graphic design in precisely the same way. Smart phone technology is less than a decade old – smart websites are even younger than that – but our customers don’t care.They want websites that interact with what they’re using now, not with what they used a decade ago.
What is Responsive?
What do I mean by responsive website design? In the simplest terms, responsive website design allows customers to utilize the site’s features from any device, be it a PC, a tablet, or a finger-scrolly smartphone.
Anyone with experience in web programming or graphic design immediately recognizes that there’s nothing simple about creating a site that allows full-featured use across multiple devices. As a graphic designer, I’ve been called on to create scalable interfaces that can grow or shrink to accommodate multiple screen sizes, so I know exactly how much effort and planning it requires.
Regardless of how much work it takes, today’s marketing efforts are joined at the hip with technologies that are evolving rapidly. Attracting the right audience, making them comfortable, and encouraging them to buy our product or service all require allowing them to connect to us in the way they want, not the way we want.
My friend with the flip phone? She was sending a text message, not shopping. Just goes to show.