Responsive web design: The one question for businesses to consider

Posted by Guest Contributor

March 26, 2014

JobMobile NYC panelist shares his organization's transition to a mobile-responsive website.

By Jay Woodruff

Affinity_Resource_GroupHere’s the only question you need to answer in deciding whether to move to a responsive-designed website:

Do you want to stay in business?

About two-thirds of Facebook users now gain access via mobile devices, and for sites like Pandora and Instagram, the number is approaching 100 percent. As more and more people migrate to mobile as their primary access to digital information, you can't afford to not put your best face forward on portable devices.

At Affinity Resource Group, our recruiting practice focuses on digital technologists, so for us the move was a no-brainer. And still we dragged our feet. Our website is important, but it is not our primary revenue driver, so during those first couple of years we were focused on establishing relationships, attracting clients, and making placements. 

Plus, redesigns are a huge pain. They are a time suck and a distraction. And while our site looked kind of lame, it actually functioned okay, synching up nicely with various job boards.

But as our business took hold and continued to grow, we became increasingly embarrassed by a stodgy site that resembled a ten-year-old corporate PowerPoint presentation.

So we finally asked ourselves another question:

For our particular business, what function does our site need to perform?

Nothing too fancy, actually. Information about our company, our services, and our current job listings.

A few other questions:

How much time did we want to spend on a redesign? (The less, the better.)

How much did we want to invest in a redesign? (The less, the better.)

What did we want to achieve through the redesign? (A more elegant and contemporary looking site that was optimized for mobile and included a content management system enabling us to make changes quickly and easily.)

We took the DIY approach in part because it afforded an opportunity to play around with the products of companies we’re interested in partnering with. We looked at a number of options, including Wordpress, Wix, and Weebly but settled on Squarespace because we liked their templates. 

I’m neither a developer nor a designer, but the better web-building platforms are virtually idiot proof, so in less than a month of part-time, late-night work, we had our new site

Total cost? Ninety-six bucks (per year).

Most of the web-building platforms offer an ever-increasing array of enhancements and plugins to expand site functionality, so ours can grow as needed without another wholesale redesign and additional investment. 

We don’t miss a thing from our old site.

We like the way the new one looks on a laptop, but if you ask me, it looks even sweeter on an iPhone or Galaxy S4.

Join Jay, Meetup's Erin Dertouzos, and Spotify's Lindsay Holmes on Wednesday, March 26th at JobMobile NYC! Click on the following link to learn more about JobMobile NYC.

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Jay Woodruff is the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Affinity Resource Group, a boutique recruiting firm focused on digital technology positions in eCommerce and financial services. Affinity Resource Group is an affiliate of MRINetwork, one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. Follow Jay and Affinity Resource Group on Twitter at @AffinityNY.



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Topics: Recruiting & Sourcing, Social & Mobile Trends