Why Responsive Design will be even more essential in 2015

Why Responsive Design will be even more essential in 2015

As predicted, traffic coming through mobile devices including tablets has overtaken traditional desktop browsing in 2014, and the momentum doesn’t look to be slowing.

2014 has seen a healthy growth in mobile device traffic, especially from tablets, according to the 2014 KPCB Internet Trends Report. With 60% of all internet access now coming through mobile, tablets and similar devices in comparison to desktop, mobile devices have had a successful increase throughout the year which looks to continue throughout 2015 proving just how vital it is to have a fully responsive website, especially for the B2C market.

responsive design 2015

Social media is a prime example as a fully-responsive sector. With a KPI of a quick load time being paramount, now 60% of social media time is now spent on smartphones and tablets as opposed to desktop browsers.

In addition, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau UK report published April this year, even 51% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, showing an increase across the board. This figure still stands.

But what does this mean for graphic designers such as ourselves?

Any business that isn’t seriously thinking about adapting their website for mobile should expect a downhill spiral that will be difficult to recover from.

With responsive design being so important for any website, research from SEO clarity has shown that your site’s click-through rate (CTR) and mobile ranking will be negatively affected if Google does not class your website as fully “mobile friendly”. In addition, Google have been extremely active during the latter half of 2014 in getting businesses to go ‘mobile’ and desktop CTRs have since been in decline.

For graphic designers, it is important to always think responsive, and there are a few ways you can do this:

Adjust screen width

This is an easy thing to do, even for those designers focused on print. There are so many free responsive HTML5 CSS3 website templates to include and this must be considered right at the beginning of the process.

Consider apps

Always be in the mind frame to consider apps. Many businesses are moving away from primarily promoting on their website to apps as a way to speed up the process for the user and create a stronger brand loyalty.

Don’t overload a website with visuals

Us creatives do have a tendency to get excited when faced with a blank canvas to fill, however a busy website affects the user experience and with make that all-important load time higher. Stick with simple yet effective designs with clear calls to action.

Minimal pages

Encourage your client to not only stick with a simpler design but minimum pages too. Typical mobile friendly websites are ideally a maximum of 20 pages.

All of this results in a much more tactical approach than what we are used to. Yes, there was always an element of planning screen sizes, brochures pages and multiple amendments, but a responsive website and phone app requires a technical approach, taking into account the resolution and screen size. Bearing in mind this approach, here are the screen sizes and resolutions for the top smartphones and tablets:

Common screen sizes

Manufacturer Type Screen Size Resolution
Amazon Kindle Fire Tablet 7″ 1024 x 600
Apple iPad Tablet 9.7″ 1024 x 768
Apple iPad 2 Tablet 9.7″ 1024 x 768
Apple iPad 3 Tablet 9.7″ 2048 x 1536
Apple iPhone 3GS Smartphone 3.5″ 480 x 320
Apple iPhone 4S Smartphone 3.5″ 960 x 640
Apple iPhone 5 Smartphone 4″ 640 x 1136
Nokia Lumia 900 Smartphone 4.3″ 480 x 800
Samsung Galaxy S III Smartphone 4.8″ 1280 x 720
Samsung S 4G Smartphone 4″ 480 x 800
Sony Tablet S Tablet 9.4″ 1280 x 800


Predictions for 2015

Along with flat design and parallax scrolling being essential for 2015, responsive will be an essential aspect to your business excelling online. Whilst responsive isn’t exactly a new concept (it has been developing since 2012 and has only really taken off this year), in 2015 there will be much emphasis on creating the best experience on mobile possible for your website, and creating the accompanying apps as well. With responsive design continuing to be at the fall front of the technical and graphic design world, for 2015 we can expect to see even more emphasis as mobile devices look to dominant desktop browsers.

In 2015, you can add the likes of smart watches, televisions, home appliances and cars to the ever-expanding list of devices classed under the umbrella of ‘mobile’. If you didn’t have enough to contend with! And expect even more to be added to the list by the end of next year too. Companies will also be investing in stronger navigation structures to combat the high demand, but these should be with us later on in the year.


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