Best Practices on Mobile-Friendly Websites

Recently, clients have been asking us to build their site so it performs well on a mobile device.  Websites and mobile friendly is also currently a huge topic among designers and programmers. Since I write for non-techies, I’ll keep it simple. If you are a techie, I’ll post to links at the bottom from my sources.

There two options available at the moment.

1. Building one website and making it responsive to the device or platform its on so it adjusts into a readable or “friendly” format.

2. Building a separate website for cell phones and possibly other separate websites for other devices.

We here at FOW are choosing option #1, though we acknowledge there are times when a separate site could be warranted.

The downside of a separate mobile website is that it creates another set of content to keep up-to-date. Consequently (and for other reasons as well), many mobile sites present only a sub-set of the information on the main website. Someone will decide what “most mobile users will want to see,” and that’s all the mobile site will include to keep it easier to update. But too often the guesses are wrong about what content the mobile phone user is looking for. To quote Bruce Lawson, “you never know better than your users what content they want.”

Though, I would add “or how they want to view it.”

What bothers us about much of the mobile web and responsive web discussion is the idea that we can automatically anticipate how people want to view a website, so can remove that control from them. On the contrary, the most important part of any mobile website is that link over to the full website, just like the most important part of any “responsive” website is a link to cancel the responsive features.

 

Users want and need the two “cons” – content and control. Remove content by offering only the content you assume mobile users want, or remove control by assuming you know how users want to view that content, and you are delivering frustration to your users.

Want to read some more:

Why We Shouldn’t Make Separate Mobile Websites by Bruce Lawson

This article on Responsive Web Design by Ethan Harcotte from A List Apart (one of the most respected web design blogs) is considered one of the seminal statements. It’s a good reference if people want to read a bit more on the subject, though it gets a bit technical.

_____________

Responsive Websites

Karen Nierlich is an internet marketing consultant with Full Orbit Web and Marketing. If you want to discuss mobile friendly or responsive sites, or other topics related to web development or internet marketing, call Karen at FOW at 510-527-9920.

16 thoughts on “Best Practices on Mobile-Friendly Websites”

  1. Hiya very cool web site!! Guy .. Beautiful ..
    Superb .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds also?
    I’m happy to find a lot of helpful info right here within the publish, we’d like work out extra strategies on this regard, thank you for sharing.
    . . . . .
    Jim’s San Jose Carpet Cleaning
    780 S 3rd St, San Jose, CA 95112
    3408-351-1063
    colettemackie2641@gmail.com

  2. Superb blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?

    I’m hoping to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m completely confused
    .. Any recommendations? Many thanks!
    Jim’s San Jose Carpet Cleaning
    780 S 3rd St, San Jose, CA 95112
    3408-351-1063
    colettemackie2641@gmail.com

  3. Hi there, I think your web site could be having internet browser compatibility problems.When I take a look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it’sgot some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to give you a quickheads up! Other than that, excellent blog!

  4. wonderful publish, very informative. I’m wondering why the
    other experts of this sector don’t notice this. You should proceed your writing.
    I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

    FlexBuild Huntington Beach Concrete Company
    2520 Florida St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
    714-410-5374
    suzannaweiss98719@gmail.com

  5. Terrific work! That is the type of info that are meant
    to be shared across the net. Disgrace on the seek engines for now not positioning
    this put up upper! Come on over and discuss with my website .
    Thanks =)

  6. Today, while I was at work, my sister stole my iPad and tested to see if it
    can survive a 30 foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My iPad is now broken and she has 83 views.
    I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with
    someone!

  7. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not
    already 😉 Cheers!

Leave a Comment