Rethinking your Mobile Website Strategy

In Branding by Christopher Michael FoleyLeave a Comment

Why it matters:
Your mobile visitor and your desktop visitor are not the same person and they have different needs.

Why it matters:
Your mobile visitor and your desktop visitor are not the same person and they have different needs.

 
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Back in the old days — and by “the old days” I’m referring to a few years ago — we used to build two websites; one for desktop users and a completely different website for mobile visitors. This is how it had to be. Then came extensions (plugins) which allowed us to generate a mobile version of the normal site which would be displayed to mobile visitors. This wasn’t ideal because the branding and design would not be pulled through. 

Then came the mobile responsive revolution which is/was an absolute game changer. All of the websites we build now are mobile responsive. Responsive Web Design (RWD) simply means that the site will alter its states and dimensions in response to the device with which the visitor is using to view the site.

A mobile responsive approach allows us to build a website that will be viewable by all of the most common device sizes with the minimum amount of hassles or errors while pulling your design, branding, fonts, images, and visual storytelling into each page visit. 

While this is a VERY GOOD thing and allows us to build a full-featured website at a steep discount compared to just a few short years ago, this approach does create some lazy thinking among website owners and website builders. 

Here’s your takeaway for this article: Your mobile visitor and your desktop visitor are not the same person and they have different needs. 

Question: are you taking these differences into consideration when building out your pages? 

We’re now able (without building two different websites or even two different pages) to define which blocks and which messages are displayed on which device (it’s based on screen size) and which messages remain hidden from that visitor. 

Who cares?

You might have as message that looks terrific on a large monitor at full width screen resolution, but will not communicate well on a smartphone with a vertical orientation. 

The only way to determine which messages should be displayed on which devices is to consider the human who will be visiting that message on each device. 

Your assignment:

Have a look at your own website from your desktop computer, and then have a look at the site from your smartphone. If you’re feeling adventurous you could also view your site from your tablet. Make notes of what is not displaying well across device sizes and make notes of what messages simply don’t work on mobile. Consider how those messages could be adjusted to better fit the smartphone experience. 

When building sites with mobile-ready versions of various messages we are careful to avoid wasting focus on forcing the desktop version to display well on mobile. That’s a waste of time. Instead, we endeavor to provide a custom-tailored experience for the visitors who would be accessing the site via a handheld device. And you should too. 

Cheers, and thanks for reading. 

Christopher

 

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