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Within the past year, the trade journals and business bloggers have written countless columns, articles and blog entries about Responsive Web Design (RWD) and Adaptive Web Design (AWD).As with most technology changes (especially those that are costly), larger companies and enterprises will lead the way and many of these global companies have already shown us the power of RWD/AWD with sites that elegantly display the flexibility and user-friendly, mobile features and functionality that are possible with carefully designed sites. These businesses have the staff, the expert IT partners, and the budget to accomplish these goals. Let’s take a moment to consider some of the companies that have embraced responsive web design.

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Starbucks – (http://www.starbucks.com/) The Starbucks decision to go with RWD is not really a surprise. They do tend to anticipate the future more clearly than many other companies. Using online analytics, Starbucks was able to see and respond to what customers wanted, and it was clear to them that they could retain more of the market if they acknowledged the increasing demand for flexible mobile solutions that accommodate the varying screen sizes of smart phones and tablets.

Boston Globe – (https://www.bostonglobe.com) Like many print newspapers, the Boston Globe was struggling to survive in a world of electronic information exchange and mobile data availability. The dip in hard copy newspaper revenue forced the management team to take their online business to a new level. They wanted to capture and retain the more sophisticated user who has no patience for outdated, cumbersome online hybrid sites.

Gov.UK – (https://www.gov.uk/) The UK government site is an encouraging development and one that proves the point of the reach of Responsive Web Design (RWD) and its pervasiveness across all sectors. While government and governmental agency sites are not usually considered cutting-edge, the management team decided to get out ahead of this trend and improve their user (resident) and customer (visitor) satisfaction with a site that is responsive to mobile devices.

If your business is a small or medium sized business (SME), you may believe that RWD and AWD are out of your league. However, the reality is that SMEs will and must follow suit and embrace these mobile design imperatives. In a world where technology innovation is more rapid than ever before, the shift to RWD and AWD is happening faster, even for small business, and this type of innovation a necessity for market competition, customer visibility and business viability, and it can often help a declining company to survive. From a cost perspective, AWD and RWD solutions may seem expensive, but because they alleviate the need to design, manage and upgrade specific solutions for each type of mobile device, in the end, the RWD/AWD approach will save the company money and resources.

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