Smart technology plays an essential and integral role in our day-to-day lives. We’ve actually hit the point in our country where smartphone users have eclipsed the number of basic phone users. In fact, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2019, the vast majority of Americans, or 96 percent, own a cellphone of some kind, with the number of Americans who own a smartphone at 81 percent.
The number of smartphone users in the U.S. alone is estimated to reach 275 million by 2020. That is hundreds of millions of people who have internet access in their hands, pockets, and purses, anytime and anywhere they go.
Today, many use their smartphones as their main form of internet access and can browse mobile-friendly websites, but in the early 2000s, internet marketing looked quite different. Web pages were clunky, wouldn’t load, the navigation was a mess, and were designed to be viewed on a larger screen, such as a desktop or laptop. This led web designers to create a pared-down second version of their websites meant to work better on mobile devices, which did not include as much information as the desktop version.
How nice, right? Users could go to any website for a product or service and if a mobile version existed, website traffic would be automatically redirected to it. But of course, there was a slight problem with mobile sites. You lost a lot. Do you make mobile sites with just calls to action or fewer of them? What information do you keep and what do you omit? It was a solution, but it wasn’t great.
Our Take on the Great Debate
If there is information or a call to action on a website, doesn’t that in itself make it vital? Isn’t it something that someone with a smartphone might be looking for? Your audience shouldn’t have less access to information just because their device of choice is smaller. The internet is the internet. Whether through a phone, tablet, or laptop, people want access to all of it.
So here’s our biggest question: if there is stuff on your website that can be stripped away or taken off, why the heck is it on the website in the first place?
We design high-quality responsive websites that load quickly, are easy to navigate, and display the same quality content for all devices and search results. The term “responsive web design” was first coined by Ethan Marcotte, who worked with the Filament Group to redesign the Boston Globe website. Their work pioneered the shift toward responsive design.
We no longer live in a time where everyone accesses the internet with the same device – a desktop computer. Designing responsively is crucial because these days we are dealing with a wide range of viewport sizes across desktop and mobile. Our portable devices come in all different shapes and sizes, from Surface Pro tablets to Apple Watch.
And it’s not just about adapting websites to smaller screens. It’s about adapting your marketing strategy to sites to bigger screens, too. We shouldn’t have more content when we’re on a big screen and less content when we’re on a small screen. We should have the right amount of content, all the time.
The Bright Side
Accessing the internet on a mobile device creates limitations for web design. But those limitations are a good thing. It means websites need to be made in a way that they load quickly and are to navigate on smaller devices. It means we have to pay more attention to the content we choose. If something is necessary for a full website, then it’s necessary for a mobile website. If it’s not necessary for someone on a mobile phone, then it’s not necessary at all.
Remember, many people use their phones as their main access to the internet. And it is our responsibility to make sure your target audience has the same information and abilities as they would on a laptop or desktop.
From search engine optimization to user interface design, responsive websites have dramatically changed the way online marketers interact with their existing and potential customers. Keeping mobile devices in mind throughout the design process of a custom website forces us to focus more.
If your company doesn’t invest in responsive web design that can easily adapt to any device, its conversion rates from mobile will remain unchanged. In the future, websites will be better for it. It’s not that mobile web design is bad. It’s just that it’s outdated. Thanks to responsive website design capabilities, we all have the power to make a more unified internet, no matter where you access it from.