Have you considered how your website is viewed/used on a mobile or tablet device? If it is difficult to view or navigate, then chances are you've already lost some potential customers due to this very frustration. So, what are the options for Mobile Optimisation? There are two general approaches: 1. Responsive Design 2. A Separate Mobile Site (You could argue that creating a SmartPhone "App" would be a 3rd option, but we'll just stick to Web solutions in this article). OPTION 1: RESPONSIVE DESIGN: What is Responsive Design, anyway? We've become very interested in the principle of Responsive Web Design as an intelligent answer to this problem. Responsive Design is the application of new coding techniques that enable a website to fluidly respond to the size of the screen it is being viewed on. This means one website, one content management system, but a layout that can change itself to suit many desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile screen sizes. A recent example of Responsive Design, can be seen on the new Alexandra Private Hospital website, which is optimised for both Tablet and Mobile layouts. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="570" caption="Alexandra Private Hospital is a Responsive Website with both Tablet and Mobile Layouts."][/caption] OPTION 2: SEPARATE MOBILE OR TABLET WEBSITE(S): The alternative to Responsive Design, is to create a cut-down / simplified version of your website that is designed specifically for viewing / using on a Mobile Device. This can include the sections / information that you feel your Mobile Users require, and can be designed to feel like an "App" (e.g. use simple menus, or graphical icons etc). When a user hits your site from a Mobile Device, the site will "switch" to this version (but offer them the option to see the full site if they wish to). [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="532" caption="Performance Consultants - Mobile Optimised Website"][/caption] How do you choose the right option? It comes down to the User / Visitor, and what they are likely to be looking for when finding your site on their Mobile. In the case of a Restaurant, it's reasonable to assume that if someone has called up your site on a Mobile, they are most likely to be looking for one of a few things: - Contact Details - Directions - Possibly a Booking Form So, in this scenario, it would be wasteful to present them with the entire website - when you can present a simple, easy to use, Mobile Site that contains these 3 simple functions / pieces of information. On the other hand, if your Mobile Users appear to be consuming lots of News, Articles, or Blog Content - then it may be worth going down the Responsive Route - so that they can view all this content in a Mobile-Friendly way. Study the Analytics: Study your Visitor Statistics (Google Analytics is the usual choice) - and look at how Mobile Users are using your current site (or trying to, at least). Which areas of the site are they looking at? What keywords did they use to get their? From what source did they come? In some cases you can learn enough that you only need to Mobile Optimise certain parts of the site in order to solve the problem. For example, our client Action For Market Towns, is currently engaging us to scope out their Mobile Optimisation needs... we've learnt by studying their Analytics that the large majority of users viewing the site on a Mobile, have come from Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and are wanting (trying) to view News or Events. So as a first phase, we are going to mobile optimise just the News and Events sections. Why should you care about this?
"Over 50% of all local searches are performed on a mobile device"
You should care because your customers or potential customers (just like you) already have a certain expectation for a seamless experience on the web, regardless of the device being used. If they find your site unusable at worst, or frustrating at best, then they will simply leave to find one that works well (your competitor's?). [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="532" caption="Onyx Communications Mobile Optimised Website"][/caption] So how come the look, touch & feel site isn't 'Responsive' Yeah, we know!! But we're so busy doing great stuff for you guys ;0) In the same way that the Children of the Cobbler wear old Shoes, we're still in the process of re-building the look, touch & feel website, so therefore it would be a waste to alter the existing one. But fear not, our new site will be getting the Responsive treatment in due course. Instead, we've built our Responsive Test Site for you to play with at www.rickyoneill.co.uk.
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