Responsive design. What is it and why is it important?

Are you reading this blog with your computer, tablet or perhaps with your smartphone? Did your mobile browser ask you to switch to mobile version? That’s right, it didn’t because this web site is responsive design and adapts to the device you are using instead of asking you to adapt to its own. Hopefully you are enjoying the design. The quality of the content is another story…


Responsive website design on WordPress. Outlook on iPhone5.

So what does responsive website mean? According to Nielsen Norman Group, a responsive web design (RWD) is a web development approach that creates dynamic changes to the appearance of a website, depending on the screen size and orientation of the device being used to view it.

Tech-wise, in responsive design, the content and page elements reshuffle as the viewport grows or shrinks. For example, while you are browsing a site with a laptop, you might see multiple columns on the site, but as you access the site with your smartphone the columns might be reshuffled to two or a single column. Also content and other design elements might be rearranged by proportion-based grids.

This all comes down to the usability of the website, which According to Nielsen is based on:

  • Learnability: How easy is it for users to accomplish basic tasks when they land the website.
  • Efficiency: How quickly the users can perform tasks on the web site?
  • Memorability: Can users reestablish proficiency after a period of not using the web site, and how easily?
  • Errors: How many errors the users make and how easy is it to recover from these errors.
  • Satisfaction: How convenient is the design for its users?

The mobile penetration and usage rates suggest that there is a high demand for multiple platform design. Responsive design is an excellent solution to respond to that.



About tonikarkkainen

I am Toni Karkkainen 28 years old marketing prospect from Finland. I am Soon to be graduated as a Master's of Science in Economics and Business Administration, from Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland. I major in Strategy, Innovation and Sustainability and my two minors are of International Marketing Management and Strategic Management. I just finished my marketing minor in California State University in Fullerton, California and I am actively seeking for internship opportunities in the area. I am an innovation enthusiast and I have a natural curiosity in new trends and initiatives, especially when it comes to marketing and commerce in all of their respective channels. That is what I blog about is around these topics. I flag for open communication and sometimes I challenge to initiate discussion, thinking and exchange of ideas between people. I think a healthy self-critique is essential for the development of any individual or organization, including myself. I usually have lot of things to say, in good and in bad, but before this blog, I feel like I haven't had a proper forum to share and discuss about my thoughts. You are very welcome to comment and critique my posts, since they aren't necessarily "the absolute truths" about the topics, but rather my own opinions and thoughts on them. So be Brave! During my leisure time I go to gym, skate and surf, and I try to hang out with my friends always when I'm not busy with work and/or school. I am currently finishing up my studies in California State University where I have been studying for Strategic Internet Marketing, Retail Marketing Strategies, Marketing Information Technology and Consumer Behaviour. As mentioned, I'm in a search for a marketing internship, preferably in Los Angeles. Please see my LinkedIn and other social media platforms for my experience and contact information.
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