Due to the huge growth in smartphone sales (Sept 2011 Nielsen report states that 40% of U.S. mobile users own smartphones), and the still early but consistent move to bring the Internet to people’s TV screens, companies should now be asking how their website looks and behaves on a 3.5” screen of a smartphone user all the way to a 55” TV screen and how do you support all the different form factors and web browsers proliferating across those devices?
Companies need to look at their web analytics to see what devices their website visitors are using to view their website. A recent study in July 2011 stated that mobile phones and tablets account for 10% of all web traffic in the US. Some companies/organizations might be surprised to find that close to 20% of users are accessing their site using mobile devices (smartphones/tablets).
While mobile web traffic is rapidly increasing, most companies/organizations still do not have a separate mobile website or a website that is optimized for mobile.
Your current website is “one size fits all.” The content and its appearance remains the same whether it’s accessed from a desktop, laptop, or mobile device. The website might look great on a desktop but might look very small on a mobile device or some of its features might not work (for example, Flash content) because it has not been optimized for mobile browsers. Those browsing on a mobile device may not have the best experience.
With this solution, you have more than one URL (www.yourcompany.com and m.yourcompany.com) and design for your website. One version will be for a computer, and the other is a mobile version. It often has a different functionality and appearance from the desktop website.
Use this solution when:
• Your two sites will do different things, depending on who uses them
• Your mobile site would be too complicated to make through the responsive approach
• Sometimes a mobile website is a better and less costly alternative to companies thinking they need a mobile application (that’s a whole different blog entry)
• Plan as to what content will given priority in the mobile version (calls to actions)
• Don’t make assumptions about the content your users might want to see. Instead, provide links to the full site.
• Don’t redirect users to nonexistent pages or causing users to navigate backwards if they arrive on pages other than the mobile home page to your site.
• SEO dilution. Separate URLS for different devices that are the same content can hinder SEO initiatives
Responsive Web Design is the concept of a website that adapts to fit the users screen size based on the device being used. This means it does not matter if a user is on a mobile, tablet, desktop, Internet capable TV or that next new shiny device that comes out in 5 years. Your website will respond to the appropriate screen size.
The Responsive Web Design approach also requires you to think in a “mobile first” approach. What this means is that by thinking of mobile users first, you can eliminate content and/or feature bloat. This means a better user experience and a well organized website no matter what device is used.
Your website URL is also the same no matter what device your user is on. This helps with SEO dilution and content sharing between devices.
Use this solution when you:
• Want to make your site optimized and accessible to a variety of devices
• Have a site that’s well-organized and want to give users a better experience
• Want to be positioned for future flexibility with next generation devices
• When SEO content dilution is important
• Each website is different, not all websites will work well with the Responsive Web Design approach
• More planning is required with this approach
The Nology Interactive website is actually designed using Responsive Web Design. You can play around with it by resizing your browser to view the different size layouts and you can also view the site on a smartphone or tablet to view the differences in layout.
Contact us at 312.506.0026 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can help you decide on which solution is best to make your website mobile friendly.Development, General. Bookmark the permalink.