The future of responsive design – how companies can optimize performance of their OneWeb projects

• Quick loading times and a positive user experience are key criteria for successful

One Web projects

• Thoughts on enhanced performance, time to market and full cost of ownership are

key for a successful project planning

• Prepare for tomorrow’s web: responsive design with server side components (RESS)

Cologne, March 06th, 2014 – Responsive web design – a website adjusting itself to the display sizes of various devices – is establishing itself as a standard feature. However, for complex websites containing multiple systems like a shop, a content management system and a data base, this process alone is not sufficient.

Sevenval, a web technology company based in Berlin, Cologne and Vienna, explains the limitations of classic responsive web design and names three essential aspects that should be considered when planning more complex OneWeb solutions.

1. Performance first

49 percent, nearly half of all users, will leave mobile websites, if they fail to load within 3 seconds. Reducing loading times therefore is the main priority to increase conversion rates of mobile online-shops. Using classic responsive design, devices like smart phones will load content elements even if those cannot be displayed. In contrast, Responsive Design with Server Side components (RESS) uses web server applications that recognize which content can actually be accessed and shown and thus improve a website’s performance. Therefore the web server not only has to differentiate between by Apple, Samsung or similar manufacturers – it means considering thousands of possible combinations: hardware, operating systems, browsers and web standards. A specific set of these features is called the delivery context. Using the right software and data bases on an RESS server will enable it to identify the best possible content for any delivery context in question. Using RESS the data weight sent to a device may decrease from 2 MB to 300 KB: a key advantage, since every second counts to keep the users on a site.

2. Time to market

Many company websites have grown organically over time, resulting in isolated applications for different departments within an organization. It is all about conversion rates for the sales department, while IT is concerned about security risks and the designers’ priority is visualization.

The result is a fragmented front and back end, which means that the ability to adapt to new devices and new Internet standards is often compromised. This fragmentation is often perceived as a heavy burden that restrains the advancement to latest web technologies and features. However, this fear is overrated, as even content from outdated systems can be read and implemented into new front and back end structures by using the corresponding server components. Using this possibility can mean cutting the time until relaunch by weeks.

3. Full Cost Of Ownership

New smart phones, tablets and their respective operating systems, several displays and browser standards mean constantly having to adjust websites to stay up to date. Add to this the influx of new web standards like HTML5 and the need to update or relaunch a website can increase to a weekly chore, instead of something that used to be done maybe every other year. Since many devices are always online, automated updates have become a daily routine. The willingness to prepare for constant change should therefore be considered while deciding on budgets. Classic responsive design may well be a cheap investment in the beginning, but leads to increased operating costs, since all adjustments will need to be done by hand. RESS servers with externally maintained data bases offer a better solution: adjustments to technical innovations and, 2014 – Responsive web design – a website adjusting itself to the display sizes maintenance is done during operation by an external service provider. Ongoing service costs can therefore drop up to 80 percent with RESS. Considering the frequency of frontend development and taking initial and operating costs into account, companies may profit from a competitive advantage with RESS.