Previously, when asked if all webmasters should be creating sites with responsive design, my reply would be a resounding – yes! But, I have given this a lot of thought these days, and I am of the opinion that this precept must be changed.
For all of you who are unfamiliar with the concept, responsive design is a popular approach in we design that operates to adapt and modify the layout and size of a website across various devices. Essentially, the concept implies that a mobile and portable device version of a website must match the user experience similar to that of the desktop version.
One of the leading arguments that cater to the responsive design is that web visitors are more and more viewing websites from a host of various devices like mobile, net books, and tablets, and so; they must not have to re-learn how to navigate every single time that they would switch devices. This premise makes perfect sense. For in the fast increasing web consumption on handheld and portable computing devices, web owners must make their websites responsive to cater to the needs of visitors and customers who are more apt to surf the web on these devices. However, users do not create a distinction as between desktop and mobile web consumption, so why publishers should? Moreover, it also does help to consider that a responsive web design is way cheaper to come up with and maintain, as it does not need developers to repeat changes from across various kinds of templates.
The Road Less Traveled
Nevertheless, we have began to believe that adhering to this approach can get rid of the nuances of various reading behaviors, and do away with the pros and cons that each and every device can deliver.
A lot of the web consumption that happens on mobile and portable devices occurs from within the application browsers that encloses on an iframe the publisher’s mobile site within yet another app experience such as Instagram for example, opening external links within the Instagram application browser. Users that are redirected to external sites from these mobile platforms are often looking to perform one thing like watch a video, read a post, make a quick buy, and more. The moment that action is undertaken, users can return to their preferred platform or application that pointed them to these sites or links.
This is not to say that trying to deepen mobile user engagement on portable devices is a misnomer, it is not. However, it is not safe to presume that the exact same navigation, advertisement, and or buying tactics that work on a conventional desktop can be as effective as it is on a much smaller screen. It is our firm belief that publishers should depart from the usual one-size-fits-all notion in web design, and instead begin thinking about mobile web browsing as an entirely different mobile user experience.
There are so many emerging trends of platforms indicating that the mobile reading experience is altered, and that they are positioned in such a way to boost the user experience by hosting the publisher’s content within their very own servers. These platforms content that the publisher’s mobile sites load very slow, never make efficient use of small screen sizes, or perhaps do not monetize the sites as they ought to have. We will not delve deeper into this, but we see this as a rather deep misconception prevailing among publishers today.
Mobile reading experience is perhaps not where it should be considering the huge percentage of users that frequent our websites from their mobile devices. However, isn’t it something that we all should be able to check into and manage by ourselves?
Mobile revolution has just begun, now it is high time we start leveraging on it.