So let’s start off with a Craig David Rewind; it’s 2009 and I’m on my Sony Ericsson K800i (James Bond Edition) viewing Facebook. I’m not on the desktop version of Facebook, I was on an actual mobile-specific version of the site, with trimmed down features and a rather light-weight feel to it, pretty much providing the bare basics of the service – I could still poke though. Facebook knew that I was on the toilet, and wanting to access their service, so, they made that primitive version available to me through a mobile accessible website.
Facebook had the vision (and the spend) to make this possible back when mobile sites were their infancy. But now, we’re in 2015 and Google has announced that mobile searches have overtaken that of desktop searches meaning mobile accessibility is becoming more often than not the primary requirement of the builds we approach for our clients.
Not exactly; a responsive website will actually remove the need for a dedicated mobile site, whereas in the past you may have had a desktop & mobile site (two completely separate builds). A responsive site however, has you covered for both in one tidy package. There are a few different ways a responsive website can function, essentially what a responsive website will do though is detect the screen of the device it’s being viewed on and alter the styling accordingly, displaying the best-targeted layout it can depending on the rules the developers specified.
So on sites with not much real estate you could perhaps strip some of the bulky overheads, or on a larger desktop screen add visuals to blog excerpts and so on. Not unique to responsive sites but also handy, you could even target devices such as iPads & iPhones, to prompt users to download a native app if you so wished. The handles available to responsive users are pretty incredible and really make for a unique viewing experience if you know what you’d like to show to your different audiences.
Certainly, if you check out the two following images, they show our Services & Blog page on a desktop, followed by the same two pages on a mobile, take a look and we’ll continue below.
Responsive website pages on a desktop
Responsive website pages on a mobile
Engaging with your audience is vitally important. When you visit a site from your mobile and it’s not mobile ready, it’s a frustration. If a competitor can provide a nicer & easier experience your brand has lost. Frustration isn’t something you want users to associate with your company and if the sites their first port of call it’s an annoyance you could have easily avoided. More often than not providing a light-weight version of your site with key features to your core services is all people will expect. For example;
At a glance, the mobile version should provide key contact details such as phone & address. There’s certainly no harm including a gallery of the venue but make that something the user can navigate to if they want to see this additional feature and provide them with an optimised menu over these features.
Providing contact details is vitally important, people viewing on a mobile device are more than likely looking to get in touch, prominent contact details are key and why not provide solutions for creating address links which allow users to automatically open their sat nav making it effortless to find your premises. Easily accessible booking options and rooms types should be the most prominent pages over your hotels history and news items. As always you don’t necessarily need to remove this content, it’s simply about prioritising the content.
If you want to know more about responsive web design, pick up the phone (01772 508128) or pop us an email and we’ll be more than happy to chat.