Responsive Web Design: The changing face of website design & development

1

The power of mobile

Everyone who is anyone in digital marketing is talking about responsive web design. But, whether you love it or hate it, responsive design is going main-stream in 2013. So let’s talk about the what, the why, the how & the who of responsive design and how a Brightfox Smart Site can get you ahead of the game.

What . . . is responsive web design?

According to Stanford University, the definition of a responsive website is: “A website that responds to the device that accesses it and delivers the appropriate output . . . . Rather than designing multiple sites for different-sized devices, this approach designs one site but specifies how it should appear on varied devices”

So in layman’s terms, a responsively designed website will recognise what device you are using, like an iPad or iPhone, and will adapt itself to best suit the device. What this means is that you can live in comfort knowing that every one of your website’s visitors is having the optimum viewing experience no matter what devise they use.

Responsive Design Workflow

Why . . . is responsive design becoming so important?

With the explosion of Tablets and Smart Phones all over the world we have seen a major shift in how people access websites. For the first 15 years of the Internet as we know it, everyone used a PC to view websites. But that is all changing now. In fact it is becoming increasingly the norm to access websites on your Tablet and/or Smart Phone.

Did you know that:
• 61% of smartphone users are accessing the internet daily.
• In Australia alone 76% of people own a smartphone and 38% own a tablet device.

So the next stage of evolution of website access is already being dominated by use of Tablets and Smart Phones as opposed to the use of PC’s. The significance of this to the development of a successful website is quite profound. Just one of the surprising (or could we say alarming) statistics is that on average 61% of mobile visitors to a non-friendly website bounce, that is to say they never travel past the homepage.

Good and Bad

If we look at our own website you can quickly see the negative impact that having a non-responsively designed website has. Looking at our own website’s analytics we found that 20% of our visitors came from mobile devices and that a whopping 57.73% were bouncing. That’s 72 potential customers we lost in a single month! Simple math says that if we converted 20% of these bounces into leads we would have 19 new prospects and if only one of those prospects made a purchase from us, I’d say that the money we invested into our new responsive Brightfox website was money well spent!

How do figures like this stack up in your business?

How . . . does responsive web design work?

Three key technical features form the heart of responsive web design:

  • Media queries and media query listeners
    The process that determine the device being used and its screen size and resolution.
  • A flexible grid-based layout that uses relative sizing
     The word ‘Grid’ is used  a bit freely to describe this element, but effectively it is code used to determine the position and layout of the content based on the device detected by the media queries. The flexibility of this is done not in traditional pixels instead in percentages to provide relative sizing based on the device.
  • Flexible images and media
    This feature allows you to adapt your images or other media to load differently depending on the device, either by scaling, cropping or using an alternative (perhaps smaller size) file.

Who . . . should be utililising responsive web design?

Everyone!

With the speed at which mobile devices are being adopted all over the world, a responsive design will ensure that your website stays ahead of the browsing trend. Now not everyone can justify the additional expense involved, but if you are in a selling or service industry where your clients are typically on the road or away from a traditional PC, then a responsive design is an absolute.

Two of the best  industry examples are automotive and property. With clients on the road constantly inspecting and investigating potential purchases, Tablets and Smartphones have become key tools in the consumer search. In fact, according to realestate.com.au over 34% of all visits to their site came from mobile devices (and this does not take into account their iOS and Android apps).

We suggest you do some simple math yourself. In the case of a property development, lets consider a traditional weekend advertising campaign with a full page ad in a national paper. Lets say for arguments sake that this costs $20,000. If this advertisement was to generate 40 leads, one would say the cost of lead generation would be $500 per lead. A large number of these potential leads will immediately visit your website for further information or to register their further interest. Lets assume 50% visit the website rather than pick up the phone to call or visit the display suite. If we use the above statics (61% bounce rate for mobile users visiting a non-friendly website) we can say that 12 potential leads will be lost (61% of 20 leads), with a direct cost of lost leads of $6,000. Of course the true cost is vastly higher than this as the potential revenue that could be earned from each prospect is greater than the lead generation cost. Nevertheless, this example does show the immediate and direct cost to a business through having a poorly designed and developed website.

Are you maximising your cost of enquiry and can you afford to lose this business?

Brightfox Smart Sites

We encourage you to visit the Brightfox website on a range of different devices so you can truly experience what a responsively designed website is. You will find the experience quite different, but far more rewarding on each device. To ensure that all of our customers can similarly start developing responsive websites, we have launched a new product call Smart Sites. This is a single  high powered content management system that is coupled with a responsively designed website which seamlessly delivers a website suited to every device, all with minimal technical and administrative input. Please visit our website or call Brightfox on 07 3177 0505 today to find out more.

Brightfox Smart Sites

Building Smart Websites for Smart Phones (and Ipad’s!)

We blogged recently about the amazing growth of smart phones. Smart Phones and Tablets (think IPad and the upcoming Android and Windows Tablets you will see next year) are going to be the dominant platform for accessing the web in the short to medium term. More people will access the web using these devices than PC’s. Let me assure you it is going to happen.

So what does that mean for websites? Well pretty much every single one has been designed for viewing on a PC so this means a lot.

We have long been pushing the importance of building mobile friendly websites and have been doing so as far back as late 2007. As mobile phones and tablets simply become more and more powerful, and 3G and (coming 4G) internet speeds faster, it is simply more convenient to use them to access websites and web services. The huge growth of social networking is also a strong driver of this user adoption. People start using their mobile to access Twitter or Facebook, and as they become increasingly comfortable with the medium, start using their phone to access all manner of content.

The future for real estate on the web is to provide a true cross platform experience to the customer. Whether it is via a PC, a mobile phone or on the ‘about to explode’ tablet and touch screen devices, users simply expect a great experience. This means delivering an experience optimised for that specific environment.

To explain a little further, the experience of accessing the web via a mobile phone is very different to accessing it via a PC. The screen resolution and functionality is vastly different, not to mention the environment in which it is done. This results in large useability variation between the two, which in turn requires a different design to your website or services and often a modification to the service itself. One simple example is sending an enquiry on a listing. On a PC the most common action is to complete a register interest form and send an enquiry via email. Mobile phone users are far more likely however to want to send an SMS.

We have just launched a website that demonstrates the difference in design for a PC to a Smart Phone.

Visit www.precinctpropertygroup.com This is a standard website when viewed on a PC however if you visit this site from your phone you will be automatically taken to a mobile friendly website at the following URL: www.precinctpropertygroup.com/mobile

You will note significant differences with the design and if you are using a smart phone, integration with your GPS, call and email functions – all making the website user friendly and actually useable!

To effectively target this every growing market we now recommend that our clients build a website for these very different user platforms. The additional cost really is not that great and the benefits are significant.

Launch of R.E.Mobile making it easier for property buyers to find property online

 ACCESS TO PROPERTY INFORMATION JUST GOT MOBILE!

Brightfox is proud to announce the launch of R.E.Mobile, a world first product that takes an existing website and optimises it for viewing over any smart phone in the world.

Over 140 Million ‘smart phones’ were sold in 2008 and with 87.1% of all property buyers researching property online, the smart phone will become more and more prevalent in today’s market.

Instant access to property information is becoming extremely important, but the ability to view this information in an easy to view format has been somewhat difficult.

Enter R.E.Mobile.

R.E.Mobile, or Real Estate Mobile, is designed to enable any real estate agency or developer to instantly establish contact with consumers and provide them with essential property information via a smart phone.

An R.E.Mobile site takes a companies existing website content and transforms it into an easy to read format ready for any multimedia phone allowing buyers to research whilst on the run.

R.E.Mobile can display listings, projects, rentals, staff profiles, latest news and more, all updated instantly from the companies own website (which also eliminates the need for manual updating).

“RE Mobile allows buyer’s to research property information whilst on location via their smart phone. It can provide them with all the information they need instantly, in an easy to read format to make a calculated decision”, said Brightfox Managing Director, Cameron Black.

“With people now viewing less homes per purchase thanks to the Internet, and with RE Mobile, buying property has now become a lot easier”.

An R.E.Mobile website is a fully customizable and can be setup and running in under 3 weeks and for as little as $25 per week*.

For more information on R.E.Mobile and its innovative technology, contact Brightfox.

Brightfox Launch New Mobile Website Service

Brightfox today announce the launch of a new service called R.E.Mobile to build websites compatable with and optimised for viewing over mobile phones. The new R.E.Mobile service makes it very easy and cost effective for any property firm to quickly create a full mobile compatable website within weeks. Brightfox will take the existing content, including dynamic listing data for real estate offices, and build a searchable mobile friendly site that will enable the millions of mobile phone users to visit and search for properties or projects.

For more information on this product, and an example of a R.E.Mobile website, go to http://www.brightfox.com.au/au/remobile.asp