No we don’t mean website design on the move like an ice cream van 😊. This blog is talking about website design on mobile phones. Last year over 1.8 BILLION people accessed the internet using a mobile phone, overtaking the desktop computer for the first time ever in the internet’s history. The main reason is that smartphones have evolved so much that web browsing capability is now an expected feature when you buy one, so more and more people are browsing the internet on their phones when they are on the move. This means that having a good website that works well on smartphones is now more important than ever.
What is responsive design?
Responsive design is the process of designing a website so that it resizes and fits to any device on which it is being viewed. So, if you opened a website on your mobile, tablet or desktop it should resize and adjust the layout to maintain a good user experience on each device (no zooming in like on older websites). Having a responsive website will maximise the amount of visitors because you are optimising the site to work on all device types that your potential customers could be using. The previous way to optimise a site for mobiles was to create a completely different mobile site but now technology has advanced making it easier to have one responsive website with just one CMS (Content Management System). Also, the old method of a separate mobile site causes issues like having duplicate pages listed on Google (separate URLs on mobile and desktop) which is generally bad for SEO!
Mobile phones have different features to desktop PC’s so making your website resize to fit on a mobile may not be enough. Sometimes it is a good idea to adapt the way your site works for mobile phones. For example, on desktop a call to action button might appear in page view when you open the site, but on a mobile’s smaller screen it could be further down the page, so customising the content on different devices can be a great help. User processes are also different on mobile. It’s good to swap out certain visual and interactive elements such as page-scrolls on a desktop to swiping actions on mobile. Swapping out phone numbers with a cleanly designed mobile phone icon which users can just click-to-call is also a good technique. Also due to the screen width the page length can be very long depending on the amount of content, so you will notice that most websites have a back to top button so you don’t have to scroll all the way to the top to get back to the menu. Or even better, you can have a sticky menu that stays at the top of the mobile screen for ease of access. Another method used by website marketing is showing different content completely on a mobile device. For example, if someone is browsing your ‘buy now’ page on a mobile you might want to show products that would appeal to them at the top of the page like mobile phone cases, rather than keyboards and mouses that would show for someone browsing the shop on a desktop. Although this is not common it can have a great effect if you are launching a marketing campaign just for users on mobile phones.
Even though tablets don’t get anywhere near as much website traffic as mobiles it is still important to optimise your website for them. Most of the time, on a tablet in landscape view, the user experience will be similar to that on desktop, just smaller. Whereas browsing in portrait on a tablet would be more similar to a mobile so it is important to make sure that your responsive website fits with all device types.
If you would like some more information or a quote for converting your website to a responsive mobile template contact us and we will be happy to help.