You may be reading this on your laptop, or maybe your desktop pc in the office, or (and more likely) you are reading this on a mobile device whilst on the move.
Modern life means we are spending less and less time at our computer screens and more time on our mobile devices, be that phones or tablets. Significant growth is still expected, with a 16% increase expected by 2015 since 2010. So what does this mean? Well in short, it means we all must take steps to better engage with our on-line visitors and offer the best user experience possible, our brands and services may depend on it. As racing drivers or teams, your focus must be on providing the most effective user experience to add value to existing sponsors who may feature on your site and to engage with new potential partners.
Mobile web traffic never used to be fundamental to every day life, we would pop on-line on our low resolution phones to maybe check the race results or the weather, but it was largely a poor user experience and if anything it was something we could barley be bothered to try and use. Since then, mobile web surfing has gone through a few stages, one of which was a separate ‘Mobile site’ which would force users on a mobile device to a completely different website. This site would be easier to use than the original site but generally with less content. The logistics of this made it fairly pointless and certainly didn’t suit different screen sizes, not to mention it was costly and time consuming.
What is wrong with my unresponsive site?
Well, try loading up your website on a mobile device. Can you see your content neatly positioned and clear or do you need to zoom, scroll and squint to read what is on your page? Your drop down menus may also be difficult to use or you might simply be stuck on the home page. Zooming and scrolling around the page to try and read an article or find the information you are after as a user, is a very poor experience. What you are likely to see is a high ‘Bounce rate’ from your site. This is a % rating on how many of your visitors simply leave your site soon after arriving, meaning they are lost as a customer or potential client, likely for good.
Well without being all technical, what is responsive web design? Well it is basically when a site has been constructed to scale & position itself to suit a range of screen sizes, depending on what the user is viewing on. Each layout is then better suited for the user experience depending on the device, including menu changes and catering for touch screen input. Text is easy to read, at a size that suits the screen, with a simple vertical scroll down the page. No more zooming and scrolling to see what is on each page. Take a look around our site and visit our Store, all our content is built to be responsive.
How does this change the wed design process?
“There simply isn’t room in a 320 by 480 pixel screen for extraneous, unnecessary elements. You have to prioritize.” – Luke WroblewskiWell actually it changes it quite a bit, and here is why. Mobile devices are obviously smaller than our traditional monitors and laptop screens, there is far more space to play with on those. For mobile, space comes at a premium, so from the outset of the site design, mobile devices have to be considered. This in turn makes the whole site more user friendly…“…when a team designs mobile first, the end result is an experience focused on the key tasks users want to accomplish… That’s good user experience and good for business.” – Luke Wroblewski
What are the benefits of responsive web design for Motorsport?
Well Motorsport can benefit in many ways, the same as any business or individual who needs a web presence.Future Proofing – It is safe to say that a dynamic, responsive design will see your website suit a range of devices for a considerable time, unlike unresponsive websites that are already struggling. With budgets always so tight in Motorsport, ensure that you design once and pay once and go responsive.Better, faster & more engaging experience – Lets be honest, finding sponsorship is not easy and relies almost solely on contacts and how well you are able to make them. Most new contacts, and potential sponsors, will type your name in Google to see what they can find. If you appear in Google (this is another post for another time) then what they see and read could have a huge impact on what happens with them. If they are a user who ‘bounces’ from your site due to how poor their experience is, they won’t have even read about your potential.Sponsors interest – Many, if not all racing drivers and teams, are offering to ‘feature sponsors on my website’, well for this to be of any interest at all, the website needs to be strong. You need to appeal to the marketing department of these potential sponsors, who will really know what they are looking for. A responsive, active and engaging website is a step in the right direction, rather than the hindrance of a poor website. SEO Optimised – We mentioned appearing in Google above, well that is down to Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Google decides who ranks where for what, this makes them hugely influential in how we all appear. They recommend the responsive approachto combat poor web experiences being ranked highly in Google.Improve networking – As mentioned above, new connections will wish to read about you and learn more before entering into anything serious with you. Don’t lose them before they have even read anything by providing a poor user experience for them on-line.
Responsive web design is here to stay, it is becoming more important every day and without using this approach, you will limit your on-line influence. Offer your web visitors a beautiful and optmised experience on your site and your chances of converting them into a lead are significantly increased. If you would like to speak with us in more detail about responsive web design and how it can help you, then please do read more about our ServicesSome other interesting linksEssential guide to getting Motorsport SponsorshipMotorsport Sponsorship – The good, the bad…the ugly