What is the Purpose of Responsive Web Design?

Responsive design was probably the most important move forward in website creation in the last ten years. But what is the purpose of responsive web design? Here, we’re going to take a look at everything you need to know.


Put simply, it’s the ability of a website to re-optimize itself in order to fit perfectly on multiple devices.

So, assuming that – like many people – you browse the web on your phone, on your tablet AND on your computer.

An optimized design will adjust itself so that it looks great on every one of those screens.

It’s that simple.

Does this mean that the site just gets squished together?

No!  In fact, many responsive designs will change their whole layout when viewed on a mobile device.  You might find that the homepage now comprises solely of the menu buttons, or that the main page’s lead image has been replaced by the latest post, and so on.

There are a number of ways in which a design might re-form itself.

(If you want to read the original article on responsive design – the one that started it all – head here.  Ethan Marcotte was the godfather of responsive design, and it’s fascinating to see the foresight in that piece).


So, now that you know exactly what responsive design is, you’re probably wondering why you should bother.

Well, here’s why:

Mobile users are everywhere

Millions of people around the world own a smartphone.  MILLION.

What’s more research shows that as much as 80 per cent of all web traffic is from mobiles.

So, if you don’t have a website that works on a mobile device, you’re missing out on all that lovely traffic.

The key to a mobile friendly website? You guessed it: responsive design.

It’s the modern key to e-commerce

You only need to take a look at the success of Amazon to see just how much people love to shop online.

In the modern day, thousands of people do their shopping on their mobile device.

If you run an online store and your website isn’t mobile friendly, you could be missing out on thousands of dollars in revenue.

A mobile site is one that makes more money

You’ll take advantage of social media users

Facebook.  You’ve probably heard of it.  YouTube. You’ve probably heard of that too.

Social media sites bring millions of people to their mobile devices,.  That’s free traffic you can take advantage of, IF your site’s built to attract mobile users.

Responsive design is the answer.

what is the purpose of responsive design?

Responsive sites get more traffic

You might have heard of SEO, or you might not.

(If not, read this killer guide.)

Put simply, SEO is the process of telling search engines like Google what you offer, so they can tell potential customers.

And search engines can be harsh mistresses: they’re quite happy to never show websites to anyone if they don’t think people will benefit from seeing them.

Guess what really impresses search engines? You’ve got it – responsive website design.

If your site is responsive, Google will be impressed and will show your site to more people, and more people will visit it.


You’ll get happy customers on every device

There are hundreds of different devices out there.  Tablets, smartphones, hybrids, laptops, desktops…

Every device has its users, and NONE of them like websites that look dodgy.

Responsive web design is the key to ensure your website looks great to everyone.

As a result, you’ll get happier users.  And those happier users will tell their friends.

And their friends will tell two friends.

And they tell two friends.

And so on, and so on, and so on…

Responsive web design means more happy customers that come back again and again.

what is the purpose of responsive design

And happy customers are more likely to spend money!

You only have to manage one website

Back in the days before responsive design, you had to just have one device for every platform.

Needless to say, this was a monumental pain in the backside.

Take the problems that any website has, and double – or triple – them.

It’s not just a matter of maintenance, either: you’d have to measure marketing ROI for every site, upload new content onto every sites, make changes to every site…

Responsive design means you’ll only need to manage one site: a site capable of adapting to any environment.

You save money, you save time and you save energy that’s better spent on actually running a business.


Though you can make the argument that responsive web design is about grids, image changes and screen resolutions, we think the purpose is this:

To have a website that readers can browse from any device. 

It’s about making your users happy.  If they love your site, they’ll come back to it – whatever device they’re using at the time.

Iconic Solutions: Masters of responsive web design

Here, we’ve gone through a simplified definition of responsive web design.  However, get great results of it can be a complicated process.

If you’d like to enjoy the benefits and leave the work to someone else, give us a call today.  Iconic Solutions are specialists in getting great results for clients, and we’d like to do the same for you.

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