The Internet has seen many changes in the last few years and more so in the way we access it. Only a few years ago the desktop PC was the way the majority of people accessed the Internet. Technology and devices that access the Internet has and continues to change dramatically.
People now access the Internet from a wide variety of devices including :
laptops of various sizes.
The increased usage of smartphones and tablets mean people have more immediate and constant access to the Internet and this has enabled millions of people to have access to the Internet, which they never had before.
With varying devices and particularly smaller screen sizes and the use of touch screens as a navigation device (instead of a mouse) a standard website, only for the desktop PC, is not adequate anymore.
While many devices will show the standard desktop website on the small screen, much of the site will not be readable and would require zooming in on various parts of the screen. This does not provide a good user experience and likely lead to the visitor finding an alternative site for their needs.
A "dedicated" mobile (.mobi)
site is one option and still advisable for solutions requiring functionality such as e-commerce, business directories, business systems, classifieds, property listings, job listings etc.
Disadvantages of a dedicated mobile site :
content would generally need to be maintained for the desktop site and the mobile site
functionality changes/ additions would need to be made for the desktop & mobile sites
certain devices have nuances or limitations that would need to be catered for in development
A technique that has gained massive popularity and has led to many a site redesign and development recently, is "Responsive web design
". "Responsive" refers to the design and coding techniques that enables one website to respond and display information differently based on the screen size. This is therefore one website displaying very differently on a desktop, phone or tablet to give the best view based on screen size.
While on a desktop the fullsite is shown, a mobile device will automatically show a version of the site optimized for smaller screens. On a small screen this would be a single column layout displaying information in a clear, concise way with navigation/menu, text and images that can be viewed without zooming in on various parts of the site.
As this is still one site all content and images only need to be added once, to show across devices.
Have a look at our site http://www.liquidsynergy.co.za on your mobile phone or tablet to see how the site "responds" to a smaller screen.
Below shows an example of the same Responsive site on different devices (desktop PC/laptop, tablet and phone) .
Mobile devices are estimated to overtake worldwide desktop access to the Internet as soon as 2014. This means that chances are already high that users are interacting with your or your competitions site from a mobile device.
If you would like to discuss a Responsive design and mobile friendly website please contact us using the form on the right and we will call you.