Importance of Mobile Websites

Importance of Mobile Ready Websites

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By the end of this short reading you will understand why your motto when building a site or getting a site done should be “build mobile first”. This is in no way down playing building a desktop site, which should still be done. With the new trend of sites being accessed by mobile devices, tablets and other means aside from desktop computer it’s becoming very necessary that some design focus shift to creating sites for such devices.

Why:

-Consumers and those who utilize the web want to access information, goods and services at any time and at any place on their mobile device. There does seem to be a value to instantaneously getting on the web with a light weight mobile phone or tablet in varies location. Example being waiting in line for food while surfing the web in comparison to being limited to a desk with a computer or laptop.

 -Why not reach consumers at all hours of the day not just when their surfing the web from a desk.

 -The number of users who own mobile device with web access outweighs the number of users with desktop computers.

 -If users find a site difficult to utilize on their mobile device (such as too long of a load time, having to constantly zoom in and out, bad navigation etc.) chances are they will leave the site with a low chance of returning. This results in losing a potential client each time this occurs.

What comes to play:

Bandwidth: Because mobile devices tend to depend on internet access provided by the mobile server or access to Wi-Fi, sites built for mobile have to accommodate for that. While just the typical desktop version of a site becomes an enemy to mobile device because those sites typically take up too much bandwidth, a negative for users who are bandwidth cautious and pay for their access.

Screen resolution and size: Mobile devices are by nature smaller in screen size than traditional laptops and desk top computers. So when designing the screen size has to be kept in mind. As well as different keyboard design such as smaller keys for thumb and touch screen keys.

Limited storage capacity: Meaning the site shouldn’t be bogged down with too many images or things that require a lot of download.

Simplicity in Design: Have only important features and pages. For a device on the go with limited bandwidth accessing a site that has the content they need is a benefit.

Ease of Navigation: This ties in together with “Simplicity of Design”. Users should be able to access what they need on the side and avoid things that are unnecessary and will bogged down their device.

An example of “Simplicity of Design” and “Ease of Navigation” would be the thought of creating a mobile banking site. What would customers actually need in comparison to the desktop version of the site? With banking after logging in typically the site should include things patrons of the bank commonly go to. These tasks being Account Balance, Transaction History, Money Transfer, Contact Information and Find an ATM/Bank as primary goal. Of course a Frequently Asked Questions page and Privacy Policy can be added, other things found in the desktop version of the site would be unnecessary for mobile site because the things listed are commonly done tasks on banking site.

Another example would be to think of what is needed in a mobile site of a restaurant. After giving it some thought those who access it purpose would be to check out the menu, find the restaurants location, contact the restaurant and maybe find out about specials, deals and events occurring. Any additional things such as rewards, gift cards would depend on the restaurant.

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