What is Responsive Web Design?

Picture it. You have one user visit your website on their smartphone. Another arrives on their tablet. Yet another is on their laptop while a fourth is on their PC. Different devices. Different screens. Different dimensions. How do you ensure that they all have the same positive experience? This is where responsive web design comes in.

Let’s talk about what it is and why you should care.

What is Responsive Web Design?

In the words of our Lead Designer, Amanda Hernando, responsive web design means “creating web pages that adjust seamlessly across different browser widths and device sizes.”

In other words, your website will look the same whether someone visits it from their iPhone or desktop.

Because, as Amanda put it, the experience should be seamless, you might not even recognize quality responsiveness when you see it.

On the flip side, you almost definitely notice it when it’s not there.

Have you ever visited a website on your phone and had to scroll from side to side to read all of the text? Maybe buttons that should have automatically resized are super tiny, making it hard to click on them. Or perhaps the images are skewed, distorted, or pixelated.

That’s what happens when a website doesn’t have a responsive design — and it can kill your performance.

Let’s get to that next.

web design on notepad

Why Should You Care About Responsive Web Design for Your Business?

If you’re still wondering why having a responsive web design is so important for your brand’s online success, here’s one statistic to chew on.

According to estimates from the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), approximately two billion people are currently accessing the internet using only their smartphones. And that number is projected to continue climbing as brands strive to be accessible at a moment’s notice, right at the fingertips of their target audience.

You could kind of say that’s a big deal.

Remember, too, that there are different types of smartphones with varying screen sizes. Furthermore, people can view the internet holding their smartphone both horizontally and vertically.

So, your website needs to be able to respond to all of these people. And this is only smartphones — just one type of device!

What are people going to see when they navigate to your website? You better give them a good experience ASAP, because some research says you have a mere 15 seconds to get and keep their attention — and that estimate is on the generous side. Some experts say it’s closer to three seconds.

But it might be even worse. Other research states that users will form an opinion about your website in 50 milliseconds. That’s 0.05 second. 


To make matters worse, if your site isn’t responsive, it could hurt your word-of-mouth. In one survey, 57% of participants said that they wouldn’t recommend a business that had a poorly built mobile site. 38% will stop engaging if they don’t like the way your site looks. 39% will leave if the images take too long to load.

We could go on for days!

There’s little to no room for error, which means that you need your website to load on their device quickly and flawlessly.

And make no mistake about it: Google is watching. “User behavior is a powerful SEO ranking signal. Your site needs to adjust accordingly to impact the user experience positively,” says Delani, Adlava’s Digital Marketing Strategist.

In other words, if Google sees that users aren’t having a positive experience on your website, it’ll banish you to search result pages that never see the light of day.

"Nowadays we’re consuming media from all types of devices — desktop, tablets, phones, even TVs. Responsive design is a MUST if you want to have a positive user experience."

Here’s How We Build Responsive Websites

Okay. Hopefully by now, you understand why a responsive web design is a non-negotiable. Let’s briefly touch on how you can accomplish this.

As Amanda explains, at Adlava, “We implement responsive web design by defining specific breakpoints and adjusting the page layout and element styles to fit that pixel width.

In other words, we tell the website, “Hey, if you’re on this type of device, you should look like this. If you’re on that type of device, you should look like that.”

Adlava designs its websites using Webflow (we’re actually an official Webflow partner!), which makes it pretty easy to make sites responsive. Webflow already has the most common breakpoints built in, so we can actually select a specific breakpoint and adjust the layout and styles for that page by using the Webflow designer interface instead of manually writing code.

Plus, as our designer Jenevine explains, “As more devices with different screen sizes come out, those too can be added to the breakpoints we define in our designs.”

Not all of Webflow’s competitors do this. We don’t want to name any names, but, *ahem*, it rhymes with ShwordPress.

Is your website responsive? Stop reading this blog and go check right now. 

We’re serious! Right now!

Check it on your smartphone (both horizontally and vertically). Ask someone with a different smartphone to also check it. Got an iPad laying around? Check on that, too.

And if you find that you need a little help in this department, contact us. “We design for any and every use to ensure the best experience is delivered to our whole audience,” says Jenevine, “whether they’re cheekily browsing the internet while at work instead of actually working, or scrolling on their phone as they’re sitting on the toilet. Our projects look and function consistently in such a way that will capture the audience and keep them engaged, no matter what device they are using.

And that’s how it’s done.

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