Sue Anne DMAW Responsive Design Expert

All of us here at The Engage Group know that Sue Anne knows her stuff! This month, Sue Anne was featured in the Production section of the February 2013 issue of DMAW Marketing Advents. Here’s how Sue Anne broke it down.

AS SEEN IN Marketing Advents, February 2013 Issue

Responsive Design:
What, Where, Why?

By Sue Anne Reed

Over 100 million tablets were sold in 2012 and nearly 1 billion smartphones. This means more and more people are viewing your site on their mobile devices. Does your site display well on all of them?

This is the big challenge for those who design web sites. Your site needs to display beautifully and functionally on a wide range of sizes — from a 3-inch smartphone screen to a 10-inch iPad to a 30-inch super monitor. Navigation, images, text, forms and other features of your site need to be displayed well and be usable to site visitors no matter which device they are using — or which way they’re holding it in their hands.

In past years, to make websites and other online marketing look good on mobile, nonprofits and companies would have to spend thousands of dollars on mobile development or build an app. Even after spending all this money, the information would still only look good on certain devices. Back in 2010, Ethan Marcotte created responsive design. Using CSS code known as media queries, information can now be presented in a user-friendly way on any size screen or device.

Responsive design even allows laptop and desktop visitors an enhanced experience with bigger pictures for desktop visitors and smaller pictures for laptop visitors.

Adding responsive design to your website and email plans to accommodate those viewing your communications on their tablets or phones is a smart move (pardon the pun) because creating a positive browsing experience, regardless of device helps to:

  • Increase time on your site
  • Increase engagement
  • Increase donations
  • Grow your list

Several nonprofits are starting to use the responsive design techniques. The World Wildlife Fund has implemented responsive design on nearly all of their pages. Other nonprofits are starting by utilizing responsive design for email campaigns. At The Engage Group, we have been working with several nonprofits on their responsive design implementation strategies.

Developers at several nonprofits are building responsive design into their systems and making it easier to send emails and build donation pages that are mobile-friendly. Many website themes, especially for WordPress, are releasing new versions with responsive templates.

Creating responsive pages on other systems, such as Convio, Salsa, or Blackbaud, is a bit more complex but doable — and much less expensive than it would have previously cost to build web applications on individual platforms. Since all of these systems use CSS templates for emails, donation pages, and other landing pages, they can be created and reused as needed.

Responsive design may be somewhat new, but it’s here to stay and incorporating its use will help your organization grow and connect more easily.

Sue Anne is an account manager at The Engage Group and is passionate about integrated marketing. She previously worked for Care2 and nonprofit EMQ FamiliesFirst. You can find her on Twitter at @Sue_Anne. She recently spoke at BarCamp Nashville about responsive design. For more information on responsive design and for tips on how to make your website and email communications mobile friendly, click here.

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