Website design for mobile has never been more important for businesses. Without a mobile or responsive website design, you could lose up to 90% of visitors.
Do you like to surf on slow, hard to navigate websites? Yeah, me neither, especially when I am on my mobile.
This morning I came across some interesting mobile-first statistics for 2018. While these stats are no shocker for us web users that saw smartphones invented, they should be eye-opening for the business owner that is still depending on an outdated website design.
Mobile (dedicated or adaptive), and responsive design are both ways to offer a positive mobile user experience on your website. But, which is better?
First, let’s look at mobile design. This design can deliver a fast user experience specifically formatted for a mobile device’s smaller screen. It requires a separate distinct website using a unique URL different from your main website.
Next, we’ll look at responsive design. From desktop to mobile, this website offers ease to the user with little to no need to resize, pan, or scroll sideways. The responsive design is coded into your main website with the goal to ensure a positive user experience across all devices.
Responsive is clearly the winner, right?
Not so fast, says, Neilson Norman Group.
Modern search engines have learned to recognize mobile-dedicated sites, and no longer rank them lower just for having a different URL than their more known desktop version. Search engines will now send users to the mobile version of a website…if one is available.
Most folks do not know the difference between mobile and responsive websites and could actually care less. They just want a website to be fast and easy to use. And, it’s this experience on a site, regardless of the device they are using, that matters.
When was the last time you took a long hard look at your own website? Especially on a mobile device. Go ahead, do it right now. Do you like what you see? If not, a simple website refresh might be all you need. Or, you may find that a complete do-over is necessary. Either way, you have countless options for a website that works for all users. WordPress is my favorite, however, you can find other easy to manage websites that look great on mobile.
So which is better? Mobile or Responsive?
I believe it depends on the website’s purpose. I personally prefer to shop and book travel on websites that offer specific user-friendly mobile, or adaptive layouts. Just simply being “responsive” doesn’t necessarily mean easy-to-use. The buttons need to be bigger; the form fields easily found, and data quickly populated. Sometimes, successful website navigation requires us to create a much different, device-centric website design.
What should you do now? Ask a friend or customer to look at your site on their mobile device and give you honest feedback. What did they like or dislike about the experience? It can be very helpful to get another person’s perspective. Then, if you find you need a little updo, maybe I can help. I have been helping businesses transition their marketing to mobile since 2009. Before that, I worked in yellow-page advertising…but that is another story for another time.