The Importance of Responsive Site Designs

March 6, 2024

We’ve all been there: you’re browsing on your phone and click into a website that is distorted or off-scale. The text is too small to read, elements are awkwardly overlapping one another, and it’s nearly impossible to navigate. This is the result of an unresponsive site design. A responsive site design, on the other hand, can identify the device a user is accessing the site on, then adjust its layouts and text size to maximize usability. A responsive site design, or lack thereof, impacts not only the user experience, but the overall accessibility and visibility of your catalog online.

Design a Positive User Experience

First impressions are important. When a student accesses your digital course catalog, they are going to make quick assumptions about its ease-of-use. If it’s clunky to navigate or difficult to read, it’s unlikely that the student will want to engage with the content. This is a common reason that websites, including digital course catalogs, suffer from low traffic and engagement. When your staff members are pouring countless hours into updating and managing course catalog content, you want to be sure that students view it as a valuable resource and are utilizing it. Integrating responsive site designs in your catalog is a great step in making your catalog user-friendly, especially for today’s tech-centric students. Responsive site designs help to reduce bounce rates, improve the readability of a webpage, and allow users to engage more easily with the site.

Improve Catalog Accessibility

Making your course catalog accessible for all students is a top priority for many colleges and universities we work. And for good reason! Student populations often include individuals with reading disabilities, physical disabilities, hearing impairments, or visual impairments. These can be quickly exacerbated by a webpage with warped images, hard-to-click buttons, and hard-to-read text. For this reason, your catalog content needs to adapt to fit the screen size it is being viewed on. This will ensure that no text, graphics, or webpage content becomes distorted or unreadable, and therefore inaccessible.

Another aspect of accessibility is recognizing that students will be engaging with your course catalog in a multitude of ways, including in a variety of settings and using a wide range of devices. It’s important to provide the same positive user experience for both the student viewing from a desktop computer and the student scrolling on their phone.

Boost your Website’s SEO

Integrating responsive site designs has a hidden benefit: boosting your institution’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and therefore improving your online presence. Search engines, like Google and Bing, rate websites with responsive site designs more highly since they provide a better user experience. This means that your institution may be listed higher in search engine results when a prospective student searches the web. Increased site traffic is a valuable side effect of an accessible, responsive website design.

If you’re interested in learning more about responsive site designs and how Clean Catalog makes all catalog designs responsive by default, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.