As with many aspects of doing business online, the composition and demographics of your web traffic is constantly changing. Paramount among those changes is the growing segment of web users with who use mobile devices, namely tablets and smartphones, to access your organization’s site.
In fact, data from the Pew Research Center indicates that 63% of adult cell phone owners use their device to go online and, of those, 34% actually prefer to go online using their phone, utilizing that device most of the time. This is a growing trend, with more and more adults purchasing smartphones and making it a primary access point.
There are several ways to accommodate these users and provide a high quality web experience. Chief among them is an approach known as “responsive web design.”
Responsive web design brings a layout and coding process that allows each page of a website to adapt to the device a person is using. For example:
- Smartphones require a clean, touch-friendly design that uses small screen real estate sparingly, so little-to-no “pinching and zooming” is required.
- Tablets benefit from greater screen size and can accommodate more content and navigational structure than smartphones while still utilizing a touch-intensive interface.
- Desktops and laptops have a wealth of screen real estate and can support a full suit of navigational controls and design features, but must draw on the strengths of mouse, keyboard, and touch-pad-based controls.
Although each device will see a page differently, there is only a single page of code driving each interaction. This shortens load times, streamlines administrative processes, and ensures each user is delighted with their experience.
This is sharply contrasted to other mobile approaches, such as designing dedicated mobile sites, which require greater administrative upkeep and often frustrate users. If you have ever been redirected to a site beginning with an “m” (e.g. m.example.com) only to be constantly redirected to the wrong page, you’ve experienced this firsthand.
If you’re interested in learning more about your growing mobile user base, or how we can make your site responsive, drop us a line!
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