Mobile Website Design

24/01/2013, Web Design, Dan McIvor

There is no doubt that the smartphone revolution is here to stay.

It’s estimated that over half the UK population now own a smartphone, and this is having a significant impact on the web design industry.

If a website design isn’t highly functional for a visitor using a smartphone then it is effectively out-of-date, posing significant questions for the website owner and web designer.

This is particularly true when the majority of companies are looking for affordable web design solutions that will in turn generate new business revenue, not result in a hefty web development bill.

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They say that there’s more than one way to skin a cat (not that any of us have tried recently) and it’s also true that there are various ways to develop a mobile-friendly web design. Some companies have decided to build multiple websites to cater for the diversity of their site visitors. However, the most popular solution at the moment would have to be responsive website design. We’ve been integrating responsive web design into our development process for a while now, and we have to say that we think it’s a brilliant concept.

 

The premise is very simple. If a website design needs to be as functional and visually pleasing on a smartphone as it is on one of our 27” Macs, the perfect solution has to be a web design which is able to adapt to the browser and device that the site visitor is using. This isn’t necessarily as straightforward as it sounds – you’ll notice that when you’re using a smartphone the screen is essentially ‘portrait’. This is very different from a widescreen desktop or laptop! It’s a bit like taking a beautiful landscape photo and trying to squeeze it into one of those bedside photo-frames where you keep a picture of your mum. It just doesn’t work.

 

The beauty of responsive web design lies in its simplicity. Instead of simply showing the whole page on a smaller screen, a responsive website will redistribute the different components of the page in a way which is helpful for the smartphone browser. This means that the web design can be subtly modified, with menus arranged down the page (rather than across the top) and the size of buttons/links increased to cater for touchscreen users.

 

A responsive website design is also incredibly easy to keep updated. You have one content management system, and making one change will enable every visitor to your site to keep up-to-date. It also makes life easier when it comes to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) simply because you have just the one website to invest your time and energy into. If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing once*.

 

If you’re looking for an affordable website design and want to find out more about mobile solutions or responsive web design then why not get in touch? We’ve got an office in Exeter and we’d love to hear from you.

 

*That is the saying, no?

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Dan McIvor

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