A Look Into the Future of Responsive Web Design

Gretchen Kalthoff

Gretchen Kalthoff

Posted on May 17, 2016

responsive website design
Since the amount of mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of all internet traffic (overtaking traffic from desktop computers), healthcare organizations must have a mobile strategy in place or face the risk losing business.
As the name suggests, responsive web design automatically adapts to the user’s device or platform and is by far the most popular approach for organizations to serve mobile users. It is the most cost effective and consistent web design option, so if you want to attract and retain mobile consumers, it’s a solid choice.
In its application, responsive web design is characterized by three main concepts – fluid grids (which can adapt content to any screen size), flexible images (which can also adapt to any screen size), and media queries (which are used to apply styles based on device characteristics). Responsive websites have fluid layouts that change and adapt according to the screen size being used.
The advantages of a responsive approach are well known:

    • The ability to support a wide range of screen sizes with just a single website.
    • Future proof for any new devices and screen sizes that come onto the market.
    • Improved SEO rankings. Google officially recommends responsive sites.
  • Increased audience, sales and conversion rates. According to a study, responsive sites achieve 11% more conversions than their non-responsive counterparts.

So, a good responsive medical web design is going to be good for business, and the benefits will continue if you can provide users a website in the spirit of the best experience possible – with layouts, images, and downloads that adapt to individual devices.
The diversity in devices that consumers use to search the web is growing, and it has become an expectation that your website’s design will respond to the user’s viewport, so consider this type of approach as a future-proof solution in today’s tech-driven world.
Separate versions of a site for mobile users (m-dot sites), the first generation of technology for mobile websites, are a dying breed. If your hospital or medical practice currently uses an m-dot site, now is the time to consider changing.
M-dot sites are a different entity from the main website. It’s usually a stripped down version, with simpler navigation and less content per page. If a user attempts to visit the main site from a mobile device, they are automatically redirected to the m-dot site.
In today’s world, m-dot sites come at a cost because:

    • Google prefers a single URL for your web content so a responsive site is likely to rank better.
    • The time to redirect from your full site to the m-dot site negatively affects a user’s impression of you and can affect conversions.
    • M-dot sites are designed for a specific screen size, but mobile devices and tablets range in size so much these days that it simply doesn’t make sense to serve the same layout to every screen.
  • Finally, if given the choice, research shows that about 35% of users go the full site, and the same research states they spend more time there – 5.5 times longer. Revenue was also shown to be higher from mobile users on the full site.

As we continue to move further into 2016, the future of m-dot sites is set to decline even further, yet our consumption of mobile communications will continue to grow. A great deal can be achieved for your healthcare organization with the right mobile strategy in place. And at the heart of your strategy, a responsive hospital or medical web design is one of the best investments for the future of your business

Gretchen Kalthoff

Gretchen Kalthoff

Gretchen Kalthoff is a writer and marketing specialist for MWE. She is an expert in healthcare marketing and health IT with a special interest in increasing patient engagement through social media and healthcare technologies.

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