Responsive Design Requires Responsive Ads - Hop Studios

Cap'n's log

Responsive Design Requires Responsive Ads

Responsive web design be all about settin' up a website t' display well across th' many varieties o' computers, monitors, screen resolutions and screen sizes—especially mobile platforms—and it’s a rare designer who hasn’t wrestled wi' this issue morrrr than once by now.

Typically a responsive design will allow site visitors t' easily view th' same page on different platforms without a lot o' zoomin', resizin' or scrollin'. When a design be “responsive,” th' page automatically changes how content be displayed t' best suit th' th' platform, fluidly adjustin' font sizes (larger body text on phones, fer example), image sizes, and o' course matchin' th' overall width o' th' page wi' th' available viewin' area.

Functional responsiveness be also critical. If ye’ve e'er struggled t' make tiny drop-down navigation menus work on a tablet or phone, ye already be knowin' that some o' what works on a traditional computer wi' a mouse and a large screen, just doesn’t work on a smartphone. A good responsive design accounts fer functionality differences like text fields, checkboxes and drop-down menus, just as it does th' content display differences.

However, one o' th' areas whar responsive design has often run into display issues be wi' advertisin'. Ads be typically served up as images or multimedia files o' a fixed shape and size. So while ye might have a large ad at th' top o' th' page, and a square ad in a story—what should be displayed when someone comes t' yer site on a small screen? Should th' top banner be hidden, and th' square become a rectangle? And how do ye track impressions if th' screen size changes (say, th' person rotates their tablet from horizontal t' vertical)? Even if advertisin' be served responsively (small ads t' small screens), it’s even morrrr rarely designed responsively. Creatin' multiple versions o' th' same ad fer each platform be a solution that be easy on th' site visitor, but tough on th' advertiser and th' publisher.

Recently, we’ve learned o' a number o' advertisin' agencies promotin' use o' responsive ad creatives. In 2013, Google’s Doubleclick fer Publishers added a responsive ad unit. Th' Internet Advertisin' Bureau publishin' a report on responsive design and ad creatives in Sept. 2012 that be an excellent place t' begin learnin' about this topic. So it’s now possible, if yer site be responsive, t' serve creatives that be just as responsive.

I’ll weigh anchor ye wi' a few links t' explore if ye’re interested in responsive advertisin', and a word o' caution: Don’t forget that ye’ll need t' test yer responsive designs extensively t' be sure they be effective. We recommend ye review yer site analytics data and pay particular attention t' th' platforms most commonly used by yer website visitors t' see how often, comparatively, people come t' yer site from a hand-held device. Ye might be surprised!

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