Because of the vast development of mobile devices, the last years have made responsive web design a core concept in the internetworld. Its significance is huge, because people increasingly visit websites via (small) mobile devices. Simultaneously, computer and television screens are generally increasing in size. Thus, in their design of a website, designers cannot just keep standard screen resolutions in mind, but have to create designs that are responsive to each type of screen.
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Since November 2014, Google has been rewarding all mobile-friendly websites with the mention “For mobile.” Users who use Google on their smartphone or tablet and see your website among the search results will know that your website is suitable for mobile, which directly increases the chance that they will click through to your site.
A good example of responsive web design is in the use of web forms. Computer users have a keyboard, which allows them to fill in a form in no time since typing is only a small effort. However, smartphone users are not waiting for a lot of typing. In addition, forms work technically different on many mobile devices and in some cases they even become unusable. You can therefore ask yourself whether it is wise to let smartphone users fill out a web form in the first place. Perhaps it is better to offer them an option to send their details per e-mail.
When we talk about the way a device is used and about contextual factors such as time and location, we are not talking about responsive web design anymore. In this case, we are talking about adaptive web design, and although there is often confusion between these 2 terms, adaptive web design simply goes a step further. With adaptive web design, the functionality of a website can also adapt to the user based on the time or location of the visit, and hence allows you to address your visitors even better.