With the amount of ease and accessibility that tablets and smartphones add to user experience, I always find it interesting how many clients will opt against the implementation of a mobile rendition of their site. A lot of people fail to see the potential of mobile (albeit with good reason, which I will discuss shortly), seeing as most desktop oriented sites can more or less function on a mobile browser, but to what degree, and how effectively? Perhaps this may convince you to make your next site device ready.
Every client, every developer, and every person involved in this industry today was at one point guilty of this, and it wasn’t until a few years ago during a lecture that I really opened up to it. All of us saw the birth and implementation of the internet, and to some extent have been wary of its evolution… on a desktop. When asked to think of our first web experience, most of us would say it was on a desktop. When we use the internet, due to comfort and habit, most of us use a desktop or laptop. It is because of this, that we at some point disregarded the concept of efficient mobile browsing, and the reason why clients will still push mobile integration aside. This way of thinking is so detrimental to your web presence nowadays, that you could really be harming your traffic and bounce rate by neglecting it. To the new generation of web users (and I don’t just mean children, but rather people in the world who never had consistent access to the internet before having a smartphone), their first experiences of really utilizing, or using the internet in general, will most likely be on a smart device. In that regard, do you really want to neglect people who will most likely become your future users or customers?
Switching from “Click” to “Touch”
May I start off by saying that, if you are currently making this transition, you are making one of the best decisions for your online presence. The potential for mobile sites these days is insane, and the way you can captivate people in a mobile experience can be very beneficial as well. Aside from appealing to an entirely new audience, you are also gaining an entire new timeframe in which you can gain a viewer, subscriber, or customer. The first time I realized this potential from example (rather than theory) was during my friend’s rant about his wife. He was complaining that since he got her an iPad, whenever they’d go to bed, he’d have a light shining towards him while he tried to sleep, as she was always browsing and buying stuff on Amazon. At this point, I had already been in my first year of Multimedia Design and Production, and I realized, once people leave their desks, you’ve lost them, they are onto something else. But what about when people are in bed, or on the bus during a commute? Nowadays people are most likely on their phone or tablet. Sale window? You bet. And you better take advantage of it or I’ll break your legs.
…Alright maybe I won’t break your legs, but you still should really consider a mobile site. Can you still get by without one? Yes. Can you use desktop sites on a mobile device? Of course. But user experience is what captivates people in what you are presenting, and if someone comes across your site on a mobile device, why sabotage that when you could instead make a few sales or views from a nice fluid mobile experience? Some (casual) people have already replaced the existence of a desktop or laptop with a tablet in their households. In that regard, should a mobile component be stressed? I would, undoubtedly, say yes.