Making Websites Mobile Friendly Without Sacrifice
Mobile browsing is on the upanup (pun intended) and at a staggering rate. At the beginning of the year, overall mobile site traffic on average had jumped to 10%. As we head into the new year companies are starting to see mobile visits to be climbing towards the 20% of total site traffic. There is no denying the rapid increase of mobile browsing and the growing need to have a mobile friendly website.
Considering the fact that 85% of Canadians are phone subscribers and 45% of those have smartphones this should come as no real surprise. What is surprising is the lack of awareness companies and businesses have when it comes to making their site mobile friendly. It may seem like a daunting, time consuming and expensive project, but it doesn’t have to be.
Our team recently had the opportunity to design and develop a large municipality website using responsive design techniques to provide a mobile friendly solution. Highlighting the requirements of a mobile friendly site from the outset ensured that consideration was given to mobile views from the initial design mockups to the technical briefs. The end result is a seamless transition between desktop browsing and mobile browsing. In the first week since launching, 20% of visitors accessed the site on mobile devices, demonstrating the importance of incorporating a mobile solution.
Richard Hammond (CTO at Upanup) provides a great introduction to responsive design. In a nutshell, responsive design takes your website and optimizes it across all devices by recognizing the screen resolution that is accessing your website. Benefits associated with incorporating responsive design to your website include:
- Only having to make content updates and edits in one place
- Having your site optimized across all mobiles, tablets and small laptops
- Easy to read text and user friendly navigation on mobile devices while maintaining visual branding
- Save money by eliminating the need to develop a separate mobile site
- Positioning your company for the future
Responsive design may not be the perfect solution in every situation. There may be specific or more complex functions that a mobile user will want compared to their PC desktop experience. A great example of this is with companies that provide account information such as banks or cell-phone providers. To navigate through an entire site on a mobile when you simply want to check your account balance or monthly usage would be impractical and so responsive design is not the best solution. However, if your site is content driven, then responsive design is a very practical solution.
In coming up with your mobile solution, we strongly urge you to explore the option of incorporating responsive design. It is practical, time efficient and cost effective and will go a long way to servicing the ever growing number of mobile users and set you up for the future. As a wise man once said, “Responsive design will ensure your site looks good.”
For practical examples, please feel free to visit the following sites on your mobile devices that were optimized for mobile views by the team at Upanup.