I had never heard of responsive web design until Voices.com blogged about it in March. (First Look! Responsive Web Design Coming to Voices.com)
After reading that blog, and having already decided that one of my goals for 2013 was to redesign my voice over site, I was really intrigued.
So far in 2013, roughly 30% of my traffic comes from mobile devices, whether it be a smartphone or tablet. Those are numbers that can’t be ignored. Being mobile friendly, regardless of the OS or platform is essential to a successful site in this day and age.
Daily I visit websites of other voice actors who haven’t adopted to mobile yet. The absolute kiss of death for a voice over website is having demos that can’t be played on a smartphone or tablet. Remember, flash doesn’t work on Apple devices! In addition, if your site isn’t easily viewed on a smartphone, you could be turning away potential clients.
Remember, flash doesn’t work on Apple devices!
Though I did switch all of my demos last year to YouTube videos and a HTML 5 audio player, and I was running a WordPress plugin to make my old site mobile friendly, I still wasn’t happy. The navigation wasn’t as easy as it needed to be. The site looked ok on my iPad, but I hated it on my iPhone.
After reading the Voices.com blog I started doing a lot of research on responsive web design. I also started test driving templates. If you use WordPress, like I do, be warned now… there are roughly 347 trillion responsive templates for you to choose from.
The thing about responsive design is that it will adopt to your device and screen size. My site displays one way on my Macbook, it displays another way horizontal on my iPad, another way vertical on my iPad and yet a different way horizontally and vertically on my iPhone. Across all three devices the site is viewable, the navigation works and the demos all play.
After over a month of testing probably close to a hundred different templates, I finally settled on one that I liked. I began the process of implementing the new design this past weekend.
There are still a few tweaks and kinks to work out, but overall, I’m thrilled with the result.
Are You Mobile Friendly?
When’s the last time you surfed your voice over site with a smartphone and tablet? Have you tried different platforms? iOS, Blackberry, Android. Does your navigation work? Do your demos play? Does the site display correctly?
If you haven’t done it recently, I suggest you schedule a block of time this week to try it. Talk to some friends who have different devices so you can make sure you cover all your platforms. Try everything.
If you decide it’s time to make some changes, I’d strongly recommend trying responsive design!