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There was a time when we’d create a separate mobile version of a website to run alongside the main desktop/laptop version but these days we mainly provide complete responsive mobile websites which completely adapt to different devices.
We also offer a complete design to a responsive website. This means that we help to rebrand your website and social media presence.
Call +44(0)114 358 2490 to speak to an advisor about improving your mobile web presence.
More and more people are using smartphones
Smartphones such as the iPhone, Android devices and Blackberries as well as tablets such as iPad, iPad Mini and Nexus are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. For this reason it is important that your website renders optimally on these devices. When a regular website is viewed on a mobile device it usually appeared “zoomed out” because the website has been designed for a much larger screen. The user then has to pinch the screen to zoom in and scroll around the site both horizontally as well as vertically. Since users don’t mind scrolling vertically it is ok, and often inevitable, for mobile optimised website versions to comprise of vertical scrolling. Afterall, information would be limited if it was all confined to a single non-scrollable screen. Users do, however, mind scrolling horizontally and this is thought of by many leading usability industry, Jacob Nielsen hates this particularly and is one of my favourite practitioners.
Further reading here: http://www.nngroup.com/articles/top-ten-web-design-mistakes-of-2002/ An old post but still very relevant today.
Problems with mobile websites
I’m not saying that mobile optimised websites are a perfect solution. Responsive is certainly the way forward but implementation is obviously going to be more expensive due to the added complexity. But the main advantage is that you can easily control your responsive site from a content management system (CMS). Most mobile website versions don’t include a CMS and are either edited in Dreamweaver on a monthly contract by your web developer or, oh dear, not kept in sync with your main site and allowed to become outdated. There are, of course, mobile optimised plugins available for CMSs such as WordPress as an alternative but not everyone wants to use WordPress. There are, of course, always options to implement a CMS into a separate mobile optimised website but for the benefits of responsive I would always see a mobile site as a stepping stone to responsive and advise clients not to invest too heavily in a mobile optimised website if they can help it.
One of the main usability issues with mobile optimised websites can be of exclusion of a click for Desktop Version link. I despise it when no such link is available. Less professional web developers may also fail to implement the direct script correctly. The redirection detects a mobile device and I personally think that a device with a 10 inch or so screen such as an iPad should go to the standard version of the website (intended for desktops/laptops)…I don’t like to see the mobile version a website on iPad…afterall some laptops only have a 10 or 12 inch screen so not much difference in terms of screen real estate in my opinion.
Another problem with how redirection scripts can be poorly implemented can be when hyperlinks back to the main site still fire the mobile script. I’ll explain…if a mobile user views a website and the mobile redirection fires but they actually want to view the Desktop Version then the website should really show them this version for the remainder of their visit no matter which menu item or other hyperlink that they tap. If the website keeps firing the redirection script and isn’t set to ignore if then this issue should really be addressed. Some web developers might, however, argue that the duration and number of pages visited from a mobile device can be significantly less than that of a desktop/laptop visit. This is due to the typical tasks that are completed in each of these visits…leaving a restaurant review might be accomplished on a desktop whereas finding directions or finding a number to call might be a task that is typically undertaken on a mobile device.
The way forward
At Internet Marketing Platinum we try to keep our consultations with clients as simple and straightforward as possible. We want our clients to have the best advice about implementing a better mobile presence and for them to take action and make more money as soon as possible. We are an action orientated company and like to productise our services if that makes sense! We wants our services to be almost tangible and easily definable. That is why we say if your website is difficult to use on a mobile it certainly needs improving and depending on budget we will provide a mobile optimised version which runs alongside and is separate to the main website. This takes less time to implement and is, therefore, a less expensive solution than a responsive conversion which is our second option.
Call +44(0)114 358 2490 to speak about improving your mobile presence today.