Posted by Luke Murray
28 January, 2015

Apple today announced the biggest quarterly profit ever posted by a public company; a staggering £11.8 billion.

Apple now has £93 billion pounds in net cash reserves and can boast revenue 30% higher than the same period last year. The success story of this darling of the stock-market is due, in no small part, to the colossal sales of its hugely successful iPad and iPhone ranges, raising the question: are people ditching their desktops in favour of their pocket-friendly counterparts? The answer, it seems, is a resounding, “Yes”. Here in Cornwall, as well as elsewhere, having a responsive website could be the key to big business. 

A recent comScore report attributed 65% of all online traffic to smartphones and tablets, up from 50% the year before, and it is estimated that by the year 2020 over half of the world’s population will use a mobile device to access the internet. Surely then, with such prevalence, all websites are now designed to cater for portable devices with their reduced screens and patchy connections. Well, at the time of writing only 1 in 8 companies in Cornwall have websites that are built to respond to the device on which they are displayed, meaning the rest suffer from slow load times, fiddly button presses and plenty of scrolling across reams of indecipherably small print.

The answer lies in a growing trend within the web design industry called ‘responsive design’. The principle is simply that that the design should adapt or ‘respond’ to the size of the screen and nature of the device it’s being displayed on. The result? A site that is equally as usable and just as beautiful on the smallest mobile as it is on the largest desktop. As the team behind such works as Tresco, St Aubyn Estates and Cornwall Mobility, we’ve been proponents of responsive design for years and ensure that all sites we produce are fully responsive.

Using a technique called ‘mobile first’, our designs begin life on the small screen, taking into account the constraints of reduced processing power, lower download speeds and decreased screen real estate. From there, they are progressively enhanced to take advantage of larger devices with fewer constraints. This approach not only works; it’s necessary. In a study of 5,388 people, just under half lamented the fact that some of their favourite sites were not optimised for smaller devices, claiming it made them ‘feel that that company didn’t care about their business’. A further 28% complained they would leave if the site didn’t load quickly enough.

In a world where well over half of all website traffic comes from phones and tablets, businesses simply cannot afford to get left behind. Making your website responsive is essentially a form of future-proofing. It’s something that can make a huge difference in terms of sales or brand engagement.

If you have concerns that your website is not optimised for mobile use or would like to discuss how responsive design can benefit your business further, contact us on 01736 758600 or email contact@nixondesign.com

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