Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Get smart with your website design

If I asked a group of people questions about their mobile phone's, the majority would be aware of the smart phone features available on it. It’s nothing new to access a website, collect emails and even make purchases using your phone. Okay, with that in mind, now take a look at your website using that same phone. How does it appear? Is the layout designed specifically with a smaller screen in mind? Does your navigation work well on touch screen? Would you stay on your own website? Or would you leave and look for another that does work on smart phone or tablet platforms?

Keep these questions in mind when you consider these global figures:
  • 1.038 Billion Smart phone users
  • Mobile users are 5 times more likely to abandon a website if it is not optimised for mobile
  • 79% of these users will search for another site
  • In 2012 118.9 Million tablets sold. By 2016 369.2
  • Million predicted sales
  • Google predicts by 2013 more people will use mobile phones to access the internet than desktop users.*
*data source

Do you need to review your website? Recently I asked one of Swimming Hippo’s long standing clients that questions after showing that almost 25% of their traffic was from tablets and smart phones. We are now working with them to develop a mobile specific website.

When considering smart phone or tablet website design layout, there are many considerations to make. Here’s just one of the more important ones:

Mobile specific design, responsive design or app

The three typical approaches when designing for smart phones and tablets are mobile specific designs, responsive designs and apps. Each of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages and these will need to be considered with your project requirements in mind.

Take for example if you have just relaunched the standard or desktop version of your website, would it be more or less cost effective to go back to the agency that supplied this site and ask them to re-code it using responsive design? A responsive website design recognises your screen size of a device you are using and adapts the design layout to work best on that device. Or do you require some of your content to be made available offline, making an app the right choice to achieve this objective. How about if regular updates to the site are required and you want to continue using your current content management system. Would a mobile specific design be your best option? All projects are individual and require careful consideration.

How much of your traffic is from smart phones and tablets? If you are not sure, Swimming Hippo can provide you with that data. We have experience in helping clients make the right mobile design decision first time around, avoiding costly redevelopments.

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