With the steadily increasing popularity of smartphones,tablets and other mobile devices, many companies find themselves asking whether or not to build a separate mobile website. When this dilemma arises, one must keep the consumer in mind. When we’re on the go, we want our websites to be fast, usable and clutter free. The websites that don’t fit the simple needs of the consumer will lose viewers to those who have a mobile solution. So the real question is, “should I separate or integrate?”
We at NuRelm believe that integrating Responsive Web Design into a website is the best approach. Sure, separate mobile sites have their advantages, but the disadvantages are significant enough to turn potential customers away. When using a mobile device, the viewer is often redirected to a separate mobile site. In most cases this is what the user wants, but say you are on a tablet and you get redirected. In this case the user most likely wants the desktop version of the site and now they are getting the chopped off mobile version. Some sites have addressed this issue by giving the user a link to redirect them back to the desktop version. This works but you’re showing the user an instant flaw to your design. Those who don’t have a link back to the desktop version are giving the user no other option for that device. A pair of studies late last year from Pew and from On Device Research showed that over 25% of people in the US who browse the Web on smartphones almost never use any other platform. That’s north of 11% of adults in the US, or about 25 million people, who only see the Web on small screens. Think of the potential customers you could be losing out on.
Now you might ask yourself “what is this Responsive Web Design buzzword I keep referring to?”Responsive Web Design (RWD) basically indicates that the site adapts to the layout of the viewing environment, giving easy viewing access to a source of content with a minimum amount of scrolling, panning, and resizing. Also by integrating RWD to a website, you don’t have to pay to host two different websites. According to the website The Pastry Box on April 13, 2012, “The mobile pundits got it right: sites should be minimal, functional, with everything designed to help the user complete a task, and then go. But that doesn’t mean that you need to make a separate mobile site from your normal site. If your normal site isn’t minimal, functional, with everything designed to help the user complete a task, it’s time to rethink your whole site. Once you’ve done that, serve it to everyone, whatever the device.” By giving the user a richer viewing experience to the consumer, you build both loyalty and awareness for the site and the company.