Last week I talked about the Smartphone Revolution in the Developing World, and mentioned some of the potential for mobile content in the future.
Today I would like to take the opportunity to explain some of the differences between a mobile-friendly and non-mobile friendly website. I’ll also provide a brief introduction to a popular topic: Responsive Website Design.
Let’s begin by looking at Cre8 Collective's website on a desktop computer.
You will notice the site fills the page, is easy to navigate and looks and feels like a regular website.
Now let’s look at the same site on a mobile device, such as an iPhone, and pretend we never intended to support mobile devices.
You will notice the site is difficult to navigate, page fonts are small, and you need to constantly zoom to follow along.
This may be considered acceptable; however, it is too slow to navigate and not very intuitive.
Personally, I would prefer it if the website looked and responded more like a software application than a difficult to follow website.
Let’s move forward and view the site on the same mobile device and in a mobile friendly format.
You will notice that most, if not all, the branding and styling are present, and the content has been arranged in such a way so as to appear more appealing on the visitor’s device.
The navigation is simple, and fonts are clear and easy to read.
How does the site fit the appropriate size and styling of each mobile device?
‘Responsive’ refers to when the site’s horizontal dimensions are reduced; the site responds by scaling and stacking elements on top of each other.
For example, a simple three column web page on a computer will appear at full size. However, once scaled down on a tablet, fonts and elements will be reduced. That reduction goes even further with a mobile phone; the three
column page both scales and stacks elements on top of each other.
This is a Responsive Website Design, and this concludes today’s discussion on Mobile-Friendly Websites.
Stay tuned for my next article: “Reasonably Responsive” appearing this Thursday.
And I recommend reading my previous article: The Smartphone Revolution in the Developing World.
As always, thanks for reading!