The next item in our review of the important things you need to keep in mind when planning your organization’s new web design and development project is your mobile approach.
Everyone knows that mobile devices are extremely important and in some cases more important than desktop devices for displaying your website content. It’s important to take the right approach and treat the mobile user experience at least as important as the “standard” desktop experience.
Although this technique has only been around for a few years, responsive design is the de facto standard for how to create a website that has a good user experience for users regardless of the device. If you’re not familiar with responsive design, it allows your website to change its layout and display based on the size of the screen displaying the page.
Although you can choose to show or hide some content based on the device in a mobile responsive, the general philosophy behind the approach is that the same content appears for all types of users. The difference with mobile responsive is that the layout and display will be optimized depending on the device a user is looking at it on.
For more information on responsive design as a mobile approach for your web design and development effort, you can refer to our mobile strategy white paper on the topic on our website.
The primary alternative to mobile responsive is to have a separate mobile website that is created for mobile devices. Often, this is built on a separate platform or CMS than your primary “desktop” site. This is generally not recommended for many reasons, one of them being that you are in effect maintaining two unique websites instead of one. There may be times when this is a good option, but you should strongly consider a responsive approach before undertaking this one.
Another alternative could be to have a specialized mobile app that has features for mobile users that are optimized for a native app interface. We definitely don’t recommend recreating a website in a mobile app, but if you have special interactive features that are singular in purpose, sometimes an app will do the trick.
Mobile’s importance is certainly not shrinking, and is growing in usage in most segments and scenarios. Because of this, it should never be an afterthought. Make sure your new site’s mobile approach is a key part of the web design and development process.
Our next post will discuss choosing the right website platform for your new Web presence.