By now you have probably thought about how your website displays on the small screen of all those mobile devices out there. Once again we are seeing the world of web design in constant change - since the internet began it has always been in a state of constant change.
Many sites out there have been built before the proliferation of mobile web devices and are therefore designed for standard computer screens which unfortunatelty make them very clunky to view - let alone use/navigate through - on those devices. Worse still, if the site uses Flash, then that part of the site simply won't display at all on most Smartphones.
You may be thinking that not many people would view your site on their mobile anyway. Well, there is increasing evidence that this is not the case and you need to seriously consider the fact that if you don't 'mobilise' your site, you could already be missing out on business opportunities.
Here are some of those statistics;
Internet access via mobile devices has changed people's behaviour in New Zealand and around the world.
Gone are the days when someone ‘surfed' the internet as the sole purpose activity. Today we do it while we're watching TV, at events, in coffee shops, bus stops, at airports and stations etc. And this is done generally on mobile devices such as smartphones and/or tablets. Marketers need to consider a multimedia approach to their marketing so that when someone sees a TV ad, or a billboard, they're encouraged to immediately go on line and follow the call to action. QR codes are a good example of this and you'll see these increasingly on product labels in shops. Engage the prospective customer and your chances of getting the sale increase significantly.
Mobile users are even accessing the internet whilst they are shopping. Increasingly shoppers use their phones in-store to compare prices, and then either haggle in store or go to a competitor to get the better deal.
Of all internet users, mobile users are the one to target with sharing social media platforms as they are big social networkers with over 77% of them being regular visitors to social network sites. Purchase on your site, option to like and share the recent purchase on their social network site and voila - all their friendsnow potentially know about your business. (modern day word of mouth)
You might be kicking yourself over the fact all these arguments are telling you that you should instigate a redesign of a site that you've spent $1000's on only a year or so ago. But think of this as an opportunity: most websites should get a fresken up every 2-4 years anyway and this gives you a great opportunity to take in a deep breath and review the design, goals and usability of your website as well as see what new and wonderful tricks and features you can add that were not available to you (or your designer) only a few years ago (e.g. HTML5 form elements).
One benefit we have seen from taking a 'mobile first' design approch to web design at Jet iT is that it almost forces us to sit back and ask ourselves such things as "is this feature necessary to our website user experience?" - as a result we are seeing many designs coming through that are clean, uncluttered and very user friendly.
OK, so now you understand why there is a need for mobile, what are you choices?
Basically, there are 2:
So the mobile web world is upon us. It is exciting times for the world of web design and I encourage you to look upon it as a great opportunity to enhance your online presence, get ahead of the pack and begin to realise a return on investment from the web.
Stats Source: 2012 (www.ourmobileplanet.com) A Google Commissioned study of 1000 people aged 18 – 64
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