It is very likely, that right now, at least one of your customers is viewing your traditional desktop website via a mobile device or tablet. And it is very likely, that right now, that very same customer is growing increasingly more frustrated having to zoom in and out, scroll back and forth, and strain their eyes just to view desired content.
As a site designer, this information can be alarming. However, as a business owner, it is your job to provide the best customer experience possible – whether face-to-face or online. So what are your customers seeing (or not seeing) when viewing your desktop website on a smartphone or tablet versus a competitor with a mobile or fully-responsive website?
So what is a mobile or responsive website?
Mobile and responsive websites are optimized for mobile web browsing. While they essentially serve the same purpose, websites built on mobile or responsive framework operate in different ways. And from a design and development perspective, designing a responsive website from the beginning is certainly the way to go!
A website built with mobile framework is essentially a reset of an existing desktop website. It is a separate website (m.yoursite.com or mobile.yoursite.com) designed to provide users with a unique and optimized smartphone web browsing experience. Although this might sound sufficient – and it does ultimately gets the job done – it may not always provide the best user experience.
A website built with responsive framework is a completely fluid version of an existing desktop website. The site scales on the fly as the browser window is adjusted, providing the user with an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices. This sort of mobile site provides your customers with a more consistent user experience.
So let’s revisit your customer from above. The one who is most likely looking at your traditional desktop website on their NEW iPhone 5C. Or was it a Galaxy Note? An iPad? Amazon Kindle? Microsoft Surface? With so many devices now available (e.g., iPhone, Galaxy Note, iPad, Kindle, or Microsoft Surface tablet), there are numerous screen resolutions to consider. However, using responsive designs ensures your design and layout are fluid across every device.
Our new website is a great example of responsive design. With all our new projects we encourage clients to take this approach. In the past this was not always the case, but as we have gained knowledge this became a MUST!
Keep it Simple
Responsive web design eliminates the need for a separate mobile URL. This type of design allows the website owner to have a single site, at a single URL, with a single code base and set of files, making the website significantly easier to maintain.
Speed is Key
If designed and developed correctly, a responsive website will generally load faster. The best responsive websites tend to be minimal builds with fewer interactive components that are taken out of play because a responsive designer or developer has to account for both desktop computers and limited-memory devices.
Responsive frameworks are a great solution. And based on existing device technology and evolving Web standards, this may not be so much a solution as standard practice in a few short years.
Ready to go mobile the right way? Facebook, tweet, email, call, or just come on by – Lawson Creative would be glad to help!