Responsive Web Design for Library Websites

Did you know… ? As of 2014, there are more active mobile devices than people on the planet (check out this active mobile connections counter vs this world population counter).

According to Pew Research:

  • 58% of American adults have a smartphone
  • 32% of American adults own an e-reader
  • 42% of American adults own a tablet

The research also found that 63% of adult cell owners use their phones to go online. Mobile devices are increasingly popular and people are visiting websites from an increasing array of devices. Is your library’s website ready for these mobile users?

In a 2012 survey, Google discovered that 61% of smartphone owners will quickly leave a site if it isn’t optimized for mobile devices, and 48% said that websites that weren’t optimized for mobile made them feel like the organization didn’t care about them. Responsive web design (RWD) can help you create an optimal experience for every user, no matter how they are accessing your site.

What is RWD?

According to Infopeople instructor Matthew Reidsma, “(RWD) is a way to make websites that “respond” to a user’s device. matthew_reidsmaResponsive websites adapt to changes in screen sizes, orientations, color density, or a host of other conditions. So rather than an iPhone or iPad website, your site would shuffle content around to accommodate a narrow screen, the portrait orientation, or the presence of a touchscreen. Responsive design aims to be “device agnostic,” treating all devices that visit a site the same, but adapting certain aspects of the site to the device’s peculiarities.”

Matthew’s 4-week course for Infopeople, “Responsive Web Design for Libraries,” will start December 2nd and registration is now open. In the course, Matthew covers the basics of RWD, including how to convert a fixed-width library website into a fluid, responsive site. Participants in the course also learn to compare RWD with other solutions to the “mobile problem” and determine what is best for their library.

“The course instructor Matthew was great! The course seemed very well prepared. The content was interesting and clearly explained, and the assignments were well thought out. I also really appreciated the varying levels of technical complexity offered in the assignments. Matthew was also very responsive and helpful.”
Quote from a learner in the January 2014 RWD course

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