The case for responsive web design strengthened by fall in PC sales

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Global shipments of personal computers (PCs) have hit a five-year low, according to new figures from the research firm Gartner. This should make all website owners seriously think how their website displays on multiple devices and what action they are going to take to ensure they aren’t missing opportunities.

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PC sales have now fallen for six quarters in a row, hurt by the growing popularity of tablets and smartphones. Gartner said falling prices of tablets had further hurt sales of PCs in emerging markets.

“Consumers’ shift from PCs to tablets for daily content consumption continued to decrease the installed base of PCs both in mature as well as in emerging markets,” Mikako Kitagawa, principal analyst at Gartner, said in a statement. “A greater availability of inexpensive Android tablets attracted first-time consumers in emerging markets, and as supplementary devices in mature markets.”

While the trend in PC sales sales is significant, we suspect that people are unlikely to be switching from a PC for in-depth work to a tablet or smartphone. A tablet or smartphone is fine for social networking, research and casual gaming, but a PC or laptop is still the most likely device for writing longer pieces of work or purchasing products. This strengthens the case for ensuring your website works properly on multiple devices including PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones. The best solution is a responsive web design where your website detects the device viewing it and adapts the content and button to suit. For example, large multi-level menus don’t work so well on smartphones so the links should presented in a drop down menu that can be easily navigated by a touch screen. This change of layout and menu type should be seamless and automatic – a responsive web design.

Most of our recent web designs have been responsive, and this need not be any more expensive than the PC / laptop only web designs of the past. If you have any question about responsive web design get in touch with Dinesh on 07941 686113 or submit our contact form for more information.

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