Image by Syda Productions / Shutterstock, Inc
Audi is widely credited as being the first company to launch a website built with “responsive design”. But what is responsive design? Why is it important? And why is it so relevant to the HR software industry?
Responsive design – what is it?
Responsive design is a method of building a web page so that it transforms itself to suit the size of screen it is being displayed on. For example, if you visit a responsive website via your mobile phone, it will look considerably different to if you visit the same website via your laptop.
The idea is to make the website easy to navigate, without the need to pull, pinch, drag or zoom.
Back in 2002, when Audi first launched their own responsive website, responsive design was pretty primitive. They didn’t need to do much, because there weren’t very many screen sizes hanging out on the internet. They simply made their website adjust to display in three different sizes:
- 640 x 480
- 800 x 600
- 1024 x 768
Today, responsive design is a lot more complex. Instead of only being flexible in size, websites must now make their buttons jump to new locations, collapse menus, and sometimes even exclude content. This is because there are thousands of different types of smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop – all with different specifications and screen sizes.
Responsive design and cloud-based software
It’s not just websites that can be responsively designed. The rise of cloud-based applications – software you access from your browser – adds a whole new dynamic to responsive design.
While cloud-based applications operate, technically, as websites, they do far more than offer information. They offer an entire service! You interact with the software – sometimes daily – and therefore, ease of use and navigation, regardless of device, is important.
SaaS companies (Software as a Service) who don’t rise to the challenge of responsive design, are quickly being shunted out of the market by companies who do.
Why HR professionals need HR software built with responsive design
Cloud-based HR software has been a growing market for many years now. But today, what separates the good from the great, is how well the platform adapts to different screens, browsers and devices.
If you’re looking at acquiring HR software for your organisation, and if you’ve decided “The Cloud” is the way to go, then whatever you do, please make sure your provider knows what “responsive design” means. Imagine having to drag, pull and pinch, just to find the holiday request you’re looking for? You don’t want to have to wait until you can get your laptop out – that defeats the object of buying software that works on any device!
Common tasks carried out using HR software include:
- Adding new employees
- Conducting performance reviews
- Approving (or requesting) holidays
- Generating employee reports
- Tracking absence and attendance
- Filing contracts and company documents
We are living in a mobile world with a more mobile workforce. So before you buy, take a demo – log into your software, get it open on your mobile, your tablet… and see how it feels!
Responsive design will continue to grow in importance
Using our mobile devices to access the internet is an increasingly common way to behave. And this is great – it opens us up to all sorts of flexible working possibilities, which have been proven to potentially reduce workplace stress.
If you want some hard data showing how big mobile is today, then look at this:
- 56% of internet traffic comes from mobile
- 61% of people are unlikely to return to a mobile website they had trouble using
- 93% of UK adults have a mobile phone that they use
And before I go, think about this: if 61% of people are unlikely to return to a mobile website they had trouble using, then how is an HR system – at least, one that isn’t responsively designed – going to help you engage your workforce?