Do I really need a responsive website?

June 25, 2013
Topics covered in this article:

Yes. Over the last year or two, developers have been fine-tuning the process to create responsive -- or adaptive -- web designs. This is a huge advancement for user experience and the development process. And a big deal to content strategists.  Part of telling a great brand story is knowing where your audience is consuming the story. Is it on a giant screen above a stage? Or on a smartphone in their hand? The cool thing about responsive design is that it doesn’t matter. But it does matter to content strategists.  Responsive design is when the site is developed to adapt or respond to the screen size ... sections shift, images and videos shrink, content is stacked vertically instead of horizontally, and content that’s not absolutely necessary for ease of reading on a small screen may even disappear. Responsive web makes your site mobile friendly, web friendly, and tablet friendly ... all in one.  Just imagine the implications to meaning when the content is no longer in the same context as before ... that’s why content strategists care.

How Can You Tell Whether a Site Is Responsive?

To see responsive design in action, simply view the site in a desktop browser window, and drag the window small and narrow to watch the content respond. If the content does not shift or shrink, the site is not responsive.  


Try it out: is a responsive site. More than 40% of our audience opens and clicks our emails on an iPhone. Another +30% use Outlook, which may be viewed from a Blackberry.  Here are a few other examples of responsive websites for you to play with.

Do you have a favorite example of an effective responsive (adaptive) design? Share it here!

Thanks to Gema Almilli for sharing many of these examples with me.

About the Author: Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, content strategist

Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.

For decades, Shelly has written for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data. Today, she's hyper-focused on supporting B-B technology businesses. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, draws, and works on her T-Bird.

A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @pybop or connect on LinkedIn. More about Shelly and Pybop.

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