Responsive Web Design: A Quick Guide

Web Design | 18-01-2024 | Olivia Eve

responsive web design

Responsive web design is a BIG THING these days, especially if you are not a website designer. It is not a new concept anymore; it has been there since 2000. Now, designers have started realizing the benefits of creating a responsive website, as most users prefer to view websites using smartphones.

Even web developers understand how important it is for them to prioritize responsive design. With this web design, users do not need to pinch, zoom in, or squint to read the content. The website adjusts and reformats itself for different devices.

On top of that, Google loves displaying mobile responsive websites on SERP because they want to provide a great experience to users.
In this blog, you will learn a lot about responsive web design, why you need to invest in it, and a few success stories that demonstrate its importance.

What is Responsive web design?

Responsive web design involves adjusting the website content as per different screens, device resolutions, platforms, orientations, etc.

It ensures that your website looks appealing and provides a consistent user experience on all devices, such as desktops, smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.

According to data reports, nearly 55% of the website traffic comes through mobile devices. So, you need to create a website that is optimized for all devices.

When visitors spend more time on your website, Google is going to level up your rankings on SERP. Moreover, Google came up with an update in 2015 about mobile friendliness.

The company mentioned that if your site is not mobile-friendly, then it is likely to impact your search engine rankings.

Then, in 2016, a massive surge in web traffic coming from smartphones was seen. As a result, many businesses have shifted from traditional website design to creating responsive websites.

This website design approach is important because most of the traffic on websites comes through mobile devices.

Benefits of Responsive Web Design

Here are a few benefits of investing in a Responsive website-

1. Provides a great user experience

As a website owner, it is your responsibility to provide a satisfying experience to users.

When visitors can access your website quickly, no matter what device they use, they are likely to stay longer on your website.
However, if they struggle to navigate your website most of the time, do countless zoom-ins/zoom-outs to access the content.

Then, they are not likely to return to your website because your website provided a poor user experience.

Having a responsive web design is going to help you convert visitors into loyal followers. As a result, you will get high conversation rates for your business.

2. SEO advantage

The focus of responsive design websites is to enhance user experience.

Moreover, a responsive site loads faster, which means visitors don’t have to wait for your page to load.

Google gives the utmost priority to websites that load exceptionally fast so visitors will continue browsing on your site.
Eventually, Google is going to reward you with better rankings and display your website at the top of search engine result pages.

3. Reduces bounce rate

If you want to drive more leads and conversions, creating a responsive web design is an effective option for you.

What if visitors land on your website, read the content for a few seconds and leave it right away? In such a case, your website experiences a higher bounce rate, which affects your conversion rates.

A higher bounce rate indicates that visitors are not engaging with your website, or the pages took more time to load.

Similarly, when they access your website using a mobile device, your site does not function effectively. As a result, you will experience a drop-in conversion rate.

At the same time, a responsive website encourages users to stick to your site for longer.

4. Increases your conversion rates

A study conducted by Google indicates that 61% of users never intend to return to a website that is not mobile-friendly.
Imagine a scenario where you land on a website, and you can easily navigate the website, browse items, and shop online; text descriptions are clearly readable.

You will love that website because the user experience is damn good.

On the contrary, if you visit a website where you must zoom in/zoom out the content, it is difficult for you to find items there. Eventually, you would become frustrated and leave that website. Isn't it?

A responsive website boosts your conversion rates because when people can access your website on all devices, then they are likely to engage with you for longer.

When visitors get consistent user experience across all devices, they will act such as making a purchase or filling in a form.
Thus, a responsive web design is all you need to convert a visitor into a customer. 5. Reduces duplicate content

By creating separate desktop and mobile versions, you are creating duplicate content issues. If the same content appears on both websites, then search engines will penalize your website.

Moreover, Google bots will get confused as to which version should be indexed or which version should rank for a certain query.
With a responsive website, you don’t face content duplication issues as you create and manage content for one website. Such changes appear across all devices.

6. Cost-effectiveness

The ultimate objective of business is to increase sales and earn more profits.

A responsive web design is a cost-effective option for you as you don’t have to create and manage multiple websites for various devices.

When you create separate websites for mobile and non-mobile audiences, then your overall cost of development and maintenance increases.

A responsive website lowers your maintenance costs as you need not worry about running two versions of the website.

7. Easier analytics reporting

A responsive website allows you to make informed decisions in the future by providing you insights on how users interact with your website and helps you track users’ journeys through multiple conversion paths and funnels.

By creating multiple websites, you are involved in tracking 2 sets of analytics to see where visitors are coming from.

However, a responsive website consolidates the data in one report so that you can analyze various metrics such as -

- how long visitors spend on your website,

- where they left off, and

- On which browser users are browsing.

Examples of responsive web design

Here are a few examples of companies that invested in responsive web design

1. Dropbox

Dropbox provides a space where users can store and share their important files on the go. The website enhances user experience by adapting itself to different screen devices.

If you land on Dropbox’s home page, you will notice that website design appears differently when viewed on mobile phones, tablets or desktop computers.

The company performed user research, so they tailored their design minutely for each device. Even CTA is displayed differently on three versions (mobile, desktop or tablet).

On the desktop version, the company included those elements that a user is searching for.

They had a separate section of storage plans categorized into various tabs – personal use, teams, professionals, companies, etc.

2. Etsy

Etsy is an e-commerce marketplace where you can sell handmade goods. The company created a responsive web design where the website adapts according to the user’s device.

Etsy focuses on the personalization aspect by giving customers what they are looking for, that is, products. While the desktop and tablet versions almost look similar.

On the mobile version, Etsy tried to provide benefits for users so that they could quickly jump on what they were looking for.

3. Shopify

Shopify is an e-commerce site that keeps its design consistent on all devices. They just changed the position of CTA buttons on the desktop and mobile versions.

On desktops and tablets, CTA is positioned at the right of the form field.

The CTA is positioned differently when viewed on mobile devices.

To keep the users ticking on their website, it loads quickly in less than 5 seconds, which is quite impressive.


Magic Leap specializes in developing AR headsets and provides enterprise-ready tech solutions.

They started with designing a mobile-first website before scaling to a desktop version.

On the desktop version, they included a playing video of a VR device because it’s natural that users will scroll down the page.

The mobile version allows users to decide whether they want to play the video. This is because the website and mobile users behave differently and have different sets of needs.

A responsive website is all you need to satisfy the intent of users.

Best practices for creating a responsive web design

Here are the few practices you should consider before developing a responsive design for your website

1. Use Media Queries

Media queries are the CSS rules that allow you to adjust the website layout according to the characteristics of the user’s device.
It is one of the best ways to create a responsive web design if you want an image to appear smaller on smartphones and larger on other devices such as laptops, tablets, etc.

Or you can use media queries in cases where you want the background color for larger devices to be different as compared to smaller devices.

With the help of Media queries, you can introduce breakpoints so that your site looks great on all devices and users can easily digest the content.

2. Adopt a Fluid Grid layout

Unlike fixed grids, a fluid grid does not use fixed measurements; rather, it creates responsive layouts that adjust according to the screen size.

Fluid grids are flexible and use percentages to change the website layout according to different screen sizes.

This provides a seamless experience to users no matter what device they are using.

3. Give space for touchscreens

Another way to make responsive web design is to use touchscreens.

With the increasing popularity of touch-enabled devices, it becomes important for website designers to design websites keeping mouse and touchscreen users in mind.

Your focus should be on improving the user experience at every stage when they visit your website.

On touchscreen devices, make sure to keep the touchable elements large so they can easily tap with a finger.
They can easily perform various actions (pinching, swiping, tapping).

Let’s say you have included a drop-down menu on the desktop view; then you need to style the form differently on touchscreen devices.

The elements should be made large enough so they can be pressed. Try including large interactive features on the device, such as images, CTA buttons, etc.

4. Use Responsive typography

One of the best practices of responsive web design is using responsive typography.

Responsive typography involves appealingly designing text so that users can read it easily, whether it is viewed on a small mobile phone or a large desktop computer.

As a website designer, you need a responsive font for a responsive website that adjusts according to screen size.

When designing traditional websites, the UX designer defines pixels for setting the font size.

But pixels aren’t going to work anymore in the case of responsive websites because every device has a different resolution.
Whatever font you choose, it should be readable and should be big enough to appear on a smaller screen.

When choosing typography, ensure to choose the appropriate amount of line-height value so that the user experience does not fall flat.

5. Follow the mobile-first approach

A responsive website design starts with a mobile-first approach.

It simply means that instead of designing websites from a desktop perspective, web designers are designing websites for mobile devices first.

According to data reports, nearly half of the website traffic comes through mobile devices. When you design interactive interfaces with mobile users in mind, they will be more satisfied.

Wrapping up

The above examples of successful companies indicate that responsive web design is a need of the hour.

So, if you are still not convinced yet, then you can try it out first, and you will be amazed to see tons of benefits it can provide for your business, especially in terms of cost savings.

Also, when most of your target customers access your website using the mobile version, why don’t you?

It’s high time for you to leave traditional ways of website designing and switch to a responsive web design approach.

Your focus, in the end, is to provide a consistent user experience no matter what device they are on. Try collaborating with a responsive web design company if you don’t have expertise in that.

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Olivia Eve

This Blog is Published by Olivia Eve