Following on from our recent article What on Earth is Responsive Web Design, in which we shed light on a term being used a lot at the moment, lets take things further by dispelling a few common misconceptions to do with mobile web design.
With internet-enabled phones and tablets taking over the world, seemingly, web designers are gearing themselves up for a mobile web revolution.
This has given rise to the term responsive web design, a principle by which web pages are coded in such a way that they adjust their layout and styling automatically, depending on the screen size of the device theyre viewed on. You can read more about it here. However, responsive shouldn’t be confused with pure mobile web design and building apps.
Even though people are becoming more aware of the importance of mobile web design, few non-developers really know the differences between the various principles. This has led to many myths.
1. Apps are the same thing as the mobile internet, right?
Sorry, wrong. However, we all use apps so frequently for accessing internet-based services, like Facebook, that we can all be forgiven for the confusion.
Mobile web design is not the same as building a smartphone app to perform a specialised function. Rather, its about developing a fully-fledged website that can adapt itself to a smartphone or tablets browser app, such as Safari on iOS and Chrome on Android.
2. Mobile websites should have less content
This is another common myth. Mobile visitors should have the same online experience as those who arrive to your main website. By reducing content, you risk hampering the value of your pages. Instead, focus on developing a mobile website that is responsive enough to rearrange and reorganise content so that it does not appear cramped.
3. Mobile websites should mirror your main site
This is where things get a little complicated. A responsive website is essentially your main website which has the ability to display itself differently that is layout and styling depending on the device its viewed on. Pure responsive design will result in a mobile website with the same functionality, just restructured for smooth viewing.
Many companies do have separate mobile websites that provide different functionality optimised for mobile users. For example, the Amazon.com mobile website is almost an app in that it provides mobile-optimised functionality, such as prominent buttons for creating and adding to wish lists. These lists can then be viewed more effectively on a full browser.
To sum this all up, if you want a website that can adapt to any device, with all the same content and functionality, responsive is the way for you. If you want a specialised mobile portal that works in a smartphone or tablet browser and isnt quite an app, speak to your developer about a separate mobile website.
4. Mobile websites need more graphics than text
Many people assume that since readability could be a problem on mobile devices, it is better to replace text with graphics. The idea isnt bad, but it lacks value users tend to trust text content more than graphics that are, on the most part, of purely aesthetic value. Also, text is far better for SEO. You can, however, shorten your content while retaining the meaning.
5. Mobile websites are much easier (and less costly) to create than desktop websites
Web design is the same for desktop or mobile. Unfortunately, some people believe that creating an HTML document set to a narrow page width is all one must do to create a mobile website. If only it was that easy.
Mobile websites are as complex to create as desktop websites, and sometimes more so. They must not only be adaptable depending on the device, but also maintain the same user experience.
If you’d like to speak to Versio2 about your mobile website options, visit our contact page and get in touch. In the meantime, why not brush up on your internet marketing knowledge? Download our FREE Indispensible Guide to Inbound Marketing.