The Difference between Responsive Design and Mobile-Friendliness

Aug 31, 2016 | Web Design

Over the past couple of years, you have probably heard a lot about responsive design and mobile-friendly websites. Many people assume the two terms are interchangeable. Would you be surprised to hear that isn’t true?

Difference Between Responsive Design and Mobile Friendly

Over the past couple of years, you have probably heard a lot about responsive design and mobile-friendly websites. But how familiar are you with the two terms? Many people assume the two terms are interchangeable. Would you be surprised to hear that isn’t true? While responsive design and mobile-friendliness are similar, they are not exactly the same. You could have a mobile friendly website that is not responsive (although we wouldn’t recommend it) or a responsive website that isn’t entirely mobile-friendly. We’ll break it down for you.

What is Responsive Design?

Responsive design refers to web technology that dynamically resizes your website to fit the screen it is being displayed on (desktops, smartphones, tablets, etc.). When you navigate to a website on your phone and it comes up with large font, large buttons and an easy-to-navigate layout, it is likely a responsive website. In some cases, it may be a mobile website but those are a lot less common these days.

While having a responsive website may mean that your website is “mobile-friendly” to an extent, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is completely mobile-friendly. Mobile-friendly entails so much more than just responsive design.

Features of a Mobile-Friendly Website

Mobile-friendliness encompasses a wide variety of factors working together to ensure that the user has the best possible experience. This includes design, navigation, speed, performance and more!

Having a responsive and mobile-friendly website is very important. In fact, “people are 5 times more likely to leave a site if it isn’t mobile friendly” (Google). So to help you maintain a mobile-friendly website, keep these 6 tips in mind:

  1. Have a responsive design
  2. Avoid plugins
  3. Use large and legible font sizes
  4. Size buttons appropriately
  5. Size content to viewport
  6. Optimize images and file sizes

If you need assistance with making your website mobile-friendly (beyond just responsive design), please contact Informatics Inc. today.