The benefits of responsive web design

Just read a great article from Acclaro and wanted to pull out some key elements I think this audience would find useful.

  • Simplified content maintenance. Instead of multiple sites each supporting a device, you can now maintain just one site for all devices. Updates are centralized and you manage a single set of content and code.
  • Better search rankings. RWD allows you to concentrate on delivering the best content and best user experience for one single site, which translates into better SEO (quality content improves your rankings).
  • Simplified analytics. More transparent user pathing provides better insight into your users’ behavior.

Know your audience

For effective multilingual responsive design, you first need a clear picture of your user preferences and how they differ across target markets. Research and document technical requirements, such as device usage, browser popularity and OS distribution.

Simplify

The simpler you can keep your site’s design and structure, the easier it will be to make it responsive and multilingual. Are those fancy animations really contributing to a better user experience? Do you really need all that content on the homepage?

Tackle the toughest markets first

Determine the most challenging languages and markets and use those for your pilots and prototypes. Notorious candidates are double-byte languages such as Mandarin and bidirectional languages like Arabic and Hebrew. Bidirectional languages add yet another layer of complexity as you have to account for a horizontally reversed interface that needs to be designed and coded correctly.

Consider a phased rollout

You can choose to wait to launch your new multilingual responsive website until the project is completely done (big bang approach). However, that might mean it could take quite a while until you start reaping any benefits from the new site. Instead of the big bang, you might want to think about a phased approach: rolling out the new site in sections, for instance. This will allow you to start getting value a lot sooner, and you will be able to continue to perfect the new design before you implement across the full website.

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One thought on “The benefits of responsive web design

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