The Responsive Design Approach Extended

The Responsive Design Approach Extended

Image source: Opensourceway (Thank you!)

3 simple tips to make your company’s marketing strategy more flexible

Responsive web design approach offers tips toward flexible marketing

Responsive design is the latest broad and vague catch-cry of the web design industry. It’s about serving your website’s content in a flexible way that scales to the viewer’s device size and capabilities (so it looks great on a huge desktop monitor, down to a tablet or a smart phone).

In the past, web designers would create sites that were finicky and precise down to the individual pixel. Here at Ignition we’ve adopted the responsive web design approach of focusing on clear content delivery and flexibility.

Here’s three ways you can apply the ‘responsive’ mindset to be more flexible in your marketing and customer service.

1. Go mobile! (But don’t worry about apps)

Mobile devices aren’t the future – they’re the present. For many companies, the solution to this rapid shift is to spend lots of money to have an ‘app’ built – undoubtedly an expensive and stressful project, and well out of reach for most small businesses.

But this survey from the US Pew Research Centre clearly points out the truth – smartphone users don’t want more and more apps – they’re happy just to use the web browsers on their phones.

“The use of news apps on mobile devices, which many publishers hoped would be a way to charge for content, remains limited. Most people still use a browser for news on their tablet.”

Which is great news for you, because optimising your site for mobile browsing is a lot simpler than building a mobile app from scratch. We recently updated our site to a responsive design for desktop and mobile users. You can try resizing your browser window to see the layout change!

2. Make your brand adaptable

Graphic design today is a skillset that must be applied to many varied and fickle mediums – from business cards to billboards, from mobiles to cinema screens. With a flexible branding system, a designer is always able to do good work, no matter the medium.

The classic rules for logo design apply. Your logo should:

  • Reproduce clearly in black and white

  • Be recognisable even at small sizes

  • Scale to any size (vector graphics)

The second key aspect of a flexible identity is a style guide or brand manual. This document instructs anyone working with the visual aspects of your brand how to use it. It may include information about:

  • Colour

  • Fonts

  • Logo usage

  • Layout and aesthetic styles

  • Incorrect usage

This is a very important document! It enables a designer to act responsively to any medium or outcome while always maintaining the integrity of your brand and sending the right message. No company should be without one.

Here’s a rather amusing example by Christopher Doyle of what it might look like when applied to a person rather than a brand. Well, as designers we got a chuckle out if it anyway.

3.  Talk to your customers in their language (but know the rules first).

In the business-to-business world, traditional forms of communication still reign supreme. Face-to-face meetings, telephone calls and snail-mail seem remarkably ‘professional’ these days. Some workplaces even still have fax machines!

But your customers have probably embraced more casual forms of modern communication in their personal lives – including texting and emailing, as well as facebook-ing and tweeting. These communication mediums each represent an opportunity to connect with customers in their preferred way.

But you’ve got to play by the rules:

  1. No spam!

    You must never send your customers direct communication they do not wish to receive. Don’t go overboard with email campaigns and make it easy for them to unsubscribe from any email or SMS database. Your aim should be to never annoy or badger your customers.

  2. Represent your brand as if it were a person

    Your brand has a personality – embrace that, and talk to clients at a personal, relatable level.

  3. Embrace free speech

    If someone has a problem or complaint about your company, and they express it on your Facebook page, your Twitter feed or you YouTube channel, censoring their comment will only hurt your brand more. See every complaint as an opportunity to (very publicly) solve a customer’s issue and convert them back to having a positive view of your company.

At its essence, responsive design is about embracing change and designing to accommodate future developments. Although the core principles of communication and marketing will never change, the companies that can apply those principles easily and without hesitation in any medium or new technology will thrive. How can you apply the responsive design approach to your company’s marketing strategy?