Why Responsive Design Matters

  • What is Responsive Design?

    Before we talk about why Responsive Design matters, let's quickly explain what it is. In its simplest form, having a responsively designed website means that your website is "smart" enough to detect the size of the screen that it is being viewed through and rearranges itself accordingly. As the screen becomes narrower (think mobile devices) there is less page real estate and so content needs to be rearranged in order to keep your pages organized and accessible to users. This can include collapsing menu items into slide-out menus, changing content layout from horizontal to vertical, and scaling down image sizes.

    Why does it matter?

    The name of the game is user experience. Your website is often the first chance that prospective parents and students have to form an impression of your organization. There are lots of little things (good and bad) on a website that contribute to that first impression and since over half of the web's traffic is now from mobile devices, responsive design can help to greatly improve that first impression.

    We all know the frustration of visiting a site that is not responsive on our phones. We have to pinch and zoom each time a page loads to bring the content we’re looking for into the viewport and scale it to a readable size. I don’t know about you, but I don’t stick around long if I see that a site isn’t mobile friendly. Studies have shown that the bounce rate (percentage of users that leave your site after only visiting one page) can increase as much as 37% for non-responsive websites when viewed on mobile devices.

    Web trends have taught users to expect a responsive experience. When the sites we visit don’t fit our devices like native apps, we become frustrated and that frustration easily translates into an opinion. “If they can’t even keep their website current, how well do they really do with X, Y, and Z?”

    In an industry as competitive as education, don’t let your website push away prospective families before you’ve had the chance to show them what you’re all about! At Blackboard, all of our templates (MTO and Design Ready) are fully responsive and geared towards giving your organization the great first impression that it deserves.