Designing a website, but not sure which way to go to reach your mobile users? This Spicy blog topic is for you!
We’re going to talk about currently trending mobile website solutions, their pros and cons, and what Spicy Broccoli Media can offer you in regards to designing one.
First, let us preface by saying there is a bit of overlap when it comes to defining (and naming) different mobile solutions: Mobile/Optimized Site, Responsive Design, and Mobile Friendly, to name the main ones.
Spicy Broccoli offers our definition and design of two of these mobile website solutions: ‘Optimised’ and ‘Responsive’. How exactly do we define these solutions, you ask? Well, let us tell you. . .
A quick detour before we compare our two web solutions – we know, we know, get to the good stuff, already! But, you need this information before we start to delve deeper. . .
A ‘mobile-friendly’ site has many definitions; to us, it means that the website is still functional/viewable but not necessarily optimized for mobile. Which means, the website is first and foremost designed with a desktop in mind, and small mobile-friendly additions are added. The website will generally appear the same on both a desktop and mobile device, and requires users to zoom in to view content on a mobile.
A few points / additions are considered when bumping up a desktop-based site to a more mobile-friendly one:
- Text based phone numbers, addresses (email & physical), that can trigger your mobile’s call, directional, and email app capabilities.
- Small image sizes for fast loading
- Avoiding Adobe Flash required items, as it is not supported on Apple, and some other, mobile devices.
An example of a mobile-friendly website Spicy Broccoli created: www.thepantrymanly.com
Building upon the concept of ‘Mobile-Friendly’, Optimized and Responsive websites take mobile capable websites a step further. . .
Optimised (Mobile-Only website):
An optimised website is designed specifically for a mobile device, separate from the original desktop website, and is created alongside a full desktop website (this equals 2 separate, stand-alone websites).
Along with many of the items covered for ‘Mobile-Friendly’ sites, these websites are targeted to the user experience of mobile devices, and certain points are considered:
- Loading time is a big factor, as mobile internet speed is often slower when roaming on networks (2G, 3G, and if you’re lucky 4G). Because of this. . .
- Content is catered for quick browsing, and it’s common for it to be reduced/different between the mobile and desktop versions of the site, to reduce this loading time.
- Reduced image graphics are suggested, for load time, and to not interrupt / distract from critical information in the small space.
- Additionally, interaction with a mobile device needs to catered for with touch/’thumb’ friendly, large touchpoints (for critical navigation and contact info), as well as a limited need for typing for those with ‘clumsy thumbsies’.
(Text sizes should also be increased to avoid zooming in.)
- An added bonus: give users the option to switch between your mobile and desktop site, to suit their preference.
Specific targeting to different user experiences
A website made specifically for mobile leads to an easier and quicker user experience, hitting the most important features of the site.
2 websites to manage;
Searches and links will not count towards your primary link equity (LINK), and has a weaker SEO (search engine optimization) presence.
Will need more frequent updates as mobile devices change in the future.
An example of a Spicy created Optimized site: mejico.com.au/
A responsive design website describes how a website reacts or ‘responds’ to the mobile device it is being viewed on. This means, the website and it’s content scales, moves, and adapts itself depending on if it is being viewed on a desktop computer, or a smaller screen iPhone.
With it’s code specifically. . . well, coded, the website is smart enough to know what will work best with the screen size it’s on, and changes accordingly. Pretty cool, right? (Until the responsive websites rise up and take over the world. . .we’ll have to get back to you about the odds of that happening.)
Most of the main points that are considered are all in the back-end coding, however the content that is being moved around / scaled does need to be considered and tested on different devices.
- Content needs to be designed, formatted, and coded accordingly, to cater to it’s ever moving and scaled elements, so the site looks top-notch on every device it graces it’s presence with. This requires a bit of testing on our end.
One site to manage, content adapts to each device size.
Similar user experience across devices.
Stronger SEO presence, and no duplicate content.
Works with any future device sizes, and requires less updates.
Requires extra time in design/development to make sure the site adapts
properly with different devices.
A Spicy example: commercial.inlite.com.au/
In the long run, we recommend a Responsive Design website for clients looking to reach users on multiple platforms.
Hopefully you learned a little something about mobile web solutions, and now know which one is for you!
Which one tickles your fancy? As a client / possible website owner, which solution would you prefer? As a user, which one would you prefer to navigate? Let us know!
Until next time, Spicy Readers.