Last Updated on April 8, 2016
In a world where responsive design is one of the top concerns of businesses for their websites, there are still times where you have to persuade your client that it’s worth having. If you find yourself in the position of having to sell responsive design, the suggestions listed below can help you achieve that task with ease.
Assess Their Need for a Mobile Web Experience
Maybe your client doesn’t even need responsive design. Look at their traffic figures and see if they’re attracting mobile users? Is the website converting visitors? Does it have a visually appealing design? Does it offer a high-quality user experience across the board?
If mobile devices contribute a small faction of visitors, it will be tough to sell. Why? Because from a financial standpoint, it may not be worth it for them.
Trouble Shoot Other Problems the Client Has
It could be that your client is not all that concerned with mobile design, but they have other issues they need resolved. Maybe it’s the visual design of their website, the lack of a content management system, or tools that will allow them to update the website themselves.
Focus your proposal on solving these problems, telling your client that you will make their website responsive as you rebuild it. This gives you the opportunity to talk about the benefits of responsive design beyond facilitating access for mobile devices.
And then there’s those “middle ground” mobile layouts that minimize layouts to pack everything for a mobile user. But this is not always the most ideal situation for smartphones. For example, the eCommerce store Accutrition renders perfectly in Desktop and Tablet layouts, but on mobile it feels very squeezed:
Many designers would jump on this opportunity to pitch them a better mobile layout. A common suggestion would be reducing the number of products displayed in a single frame. In my opinion, one of the best mobile designs out there is Skinny Ties:
This is one of the most effective responsive designs I’ve seen for a small to medium sized business.
Expand Your Focus
Don’t pitch responsive design with just phones in mind. It’s possible that phones are not an issue for your client, so in this case, you need to expand your thinking. Emphasize to them that devices used today come in a variety of sizes and resolutions; and it’s important that websites are designed to accommodate all of these various sizes.
Let your clients know that through responsive design, you can appropriately present a layout geared towards currently used large desktop screens, while at the same time accommodating laptops and older desktop monitors that lack high resolution.
Think of the Future
When discussing responsive web design with clients, try not to use the term “mobile support,” because this prompts customers to think of just phones or tablets. Instead, try using the phrase “multi-device support,” which more accurately conveys the broad range of devices and screen sizes we’re actually designing and developing currently.
One huge advantage of responsive design is that it’s very “future friendly.” Responsive design does not focus solely on screen sizes and devices on the market today; it reflows to fit a screen regardless of size and it ensures that websites will be compatible well into the future. This means that even as new devices and screen sizes are introduced, the website will still be functional. Furthermore, taking a responsive approach ensures that mobile visitors receive an experience that’s optimized for them.
Maybe your client is skeptical about their ability to attract mobile visitors. If that’s the case, making them aware of all that responsive design has to offer could incline them to say yes to your pitch. In cases like this, it can be smarter to add responsive design to an already existing package, rather than suggesting it right off the bat.
Be a Problem Solver
As a web professional, solving problems for your clients is part of your job. The important thing to remember is that you’re responsible for solving not only the problems they know of and tell you about, but also the ones they haven’t noticed.
Think of your client’s problems as opportunities for you to offer top-notch solutions based on your knowledge and professional experience. For instance, after doing some investigating, you might notice that your client has a low number of mobile visitors because they didn’t have the support for it. This can validate your responsive approach.
If websites don’t accommodate mobile devices, then users will become frustrated, leave and likely never return. Naturally, it follows that mobile support promotes mobile use.
In trying to pitch responsive design to your clients, here are the important take-aways that you should remember:
- Responsive design is beneficial for more than just phones. It can be used to accommodate a broad range of screen sizes including: new desktop monitors that are large and have high resolution, and older, smaller screens that have low resolutions.
- With responsive design, websites can move forward into the future as new devices and screen sizes appear on the market.
- Structuring a site for responsive design now, while fixing the site’s other problems saves your client time and money. It’s also much easier than trying to tackle it later, after the website has already been set.
Responsive design has numerous benefits for your clients, regardless of who they are and the issues they’re currently facing. Show your clients that you genuinely care about their success by making them aware of these benefits and explaining all that responsive design can do for them.