Mobile Website Design
Something of a diversion into mobile website design today! Any parent will know there's nothing like one of your “children” having a problem to divert you from your declared strategy, so I did some investigation into mobile site design for my son's business.
Work in progress at the time of writing!
Reasons To Consider Mobile Website Design
Of course it's not just micro-businesses like Russ and Laura's cave house that need to think about how their websites look on a mobile device.
Out of interest I checked out a few local one-man-band businesses such as plumbers and electricians.
There are many unloved and half-finished websites “out there” and even now (October 2014) some small businesses with no website of their own.
It may even be that companies with no web site at all would be well-advised to go “mobile first”, as suggested by one of the articles below.
In case any-one is in any doubt about the importance of having a mobile-friendly website, here are some interesting articles I found in recent news.
The smart phone market has grown tremendously in the past two years as reflected by the sale of over 1000 million iPhones, 70 million iPads, not to mention smart phones from Nokia, Samsung and HTC. The huge volume means that your website cannot remain PC centric any more. A mobile friendly version of your website has become a necessity, rather than a facility. According to Nielsen, 77% of the world populations are mobile users. An unfriendly mobile web design drives users away, besides giving a poor impression about the company itself.
Studies have revealed that about 25% of mobile owners make their purchasing decisions with the help of mobile phones.
A well thought out website design strategy can avoid having two different sites to maintain, one for mobile and another for PC. This can be sorted out by RWD or Responsive Web Design, an approach to designing websites for optimal viewing experience across devices. Credits: Mobile Web Design – A fresh look at Website Design – WhaTech
People Depend More On Mobile Devices
The increasing number of mobile devices being bought have, unsurprisingly, led to an increased amount of use. Just a few of the reasons are:
- Wi-fi “hot-spot availability has increased
- The fast pace of life means people want to keep “Busy” all the time: on public transport, as passengers in cars, in queues, between courses in restaurants!
- So-called “baby-boomers” have had a greater take-up rate of mobile technology than expected
- More online shopping availability from small sized companies as well as the giants such as Amazon and eBay
- Business meetings away from the office
- An increasing number of work from home businesses may also contribute
This has led to interesting conclusions such as this assertion that if you don't have a mobile-friendly website your business will be left in the dust:
….statistics showing that over 10% of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, and 40% of online shoppers use their mobile device to check out new products.
The fact that more people are using the Internet to research products for possible purchases illustrates how having a Web presence has become an essential part of doing business in today’s world. According to the Pew Research Internet Project, 47% of the people researching local businesses (other than restaurants, bars, and clubs) use online resources. Credits: If Your Website Isn't Optimized for Mobile Devices, You'll Be Left in the Dust – AllBusiness (blog)
Approach To Mobile Website Design
So having determined that a mobile-friendly site is essential for any modern online business, there are two possible approaches.
- Ensure that your “desk-top” website “responds” to the device it is being viewed upon and will look good on a mobile device (responsive web design)
- Have a completely different website to be viewed by mobile devices
Responsive Web Designs – or Not?
WordPress users, like many of my readers, are (on the face of it) well-catered for because they are able to choose (and most certainly should choose) a theme that is “Responsive” so that their site will adapt to being viewed on mobile devices.
There are some good SEO reasons (detailed in the article below) why this is preferable to having a separate website.
Responsive web design is basically reformatting or in simple words converting a website into such a format that it can be accessed from the different devices like – smartphone, tablets, desktop, laptop etc. With a great mass of the population relying much on the devices other than the desktops or laptops to search the internet, it is now sort of a mandate for the web designers to opt for the mode of responsive web designing to regulate the incoming traffic towards the websites. Credits: Why Responsive Web Design is Good for SEO? – Business 2 Community
But there's another side to the coin, and there are also good reasons (see the article below) for having a completely separate website to be viewed on mobile devices.
Responsive design is great, but marketers need to take it a step further. Users interact with websites differently, depending on the accessing device. Tablets are routinely showing higher conversion rates vs. websites in some shopping categories. Mobile first is a designing mindset. It is not that mobile is more important, but because mobile has the most restrictions, it makes sense to start with mobile and add to it for the full web site design. Credits: Why Mobile First Should Be The Mantra For Web Design – MediaPost Communications
Your Mobile Website Design
At the end of the day it will be down to personal decision (and probably budget) which approach you take, but you should certainly check how your site looks on a mobile device – especially if you have an e-commerce site.
Which approach to mobile website design have you taken, and why? I'd be interested in your comments.