If your corporate website isn’t customised for viewing on smart phones its time to make the jump.

2014 was the tipping point for mobiles being the preferred method for browsing the web, and this uptake has continued throughout 2015.

More powerful smart phones, faster mobile data connections, and changes in technology ownership have all contributed to the biggest shift in browsing habits the web has encountered.

“Digital natives” are also the first generation choosing mobiles over desktops, with many not even owning screens larger than the latest phablet has on offer.

Interface designers and web developers were quick to respond to changes in platforms and user behaviour, and began rolling out responsive templates that adapted their layouts and content to different screen sizes. The next wave of smart TVs and watches is also starting to have an impact on the way we segregate and serve web and App-based content, and this is our industry’s next exciting challenge.

Why having a responsive site is important

Google’s search algorithms have weighted “mobile friendly” sites higher when displaying search results for some time. Since April 21 however, if you’ve searched Google using your mobile phone then their recommendations have been heavily swayed toward responsive sites as opposed to their older, fixed-width cousins. This is because Google wants its users to see the most relevant content in a format that suits your screen size.

What is responsive web design?

A lot has been written about responsive design already, so if you’re interested in its history and mechanics you can read the details here.

It’s basically making sure your website works just as well on a desktop as it does a smartphone, with one set of content that adapts as required. No pinching and zooming – just easy to read content and navigation.

In fact, web designers and developers now start with a “mobile first” approach if a client’s site gets most of its traffic from smart phones – something we're seeing more of each year.

The example below shows how a responsive design works across desktop, tablet, and mobile screens. This interface was designed and developed by Icon for the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, and we've been rolling them out for iSelect, Cadbury Fundraiser, and every other site we produce.

Check your site's responsiveness with Google

Google has released a free tool for automatically checking your site’s responsiveness, and you can get a report back in seconds. Try it now

If you get a green tick you’re ahead of the curve. If you’re concerned and would like additional information or advice, Icon’s Digital MD Christopher Dodds would be happy to talk through options. He can be contacted here.