Mobile Design for your Website

Mobile usage of the web is growing and evolving and as it evolves, so does the mobile user experience. Smartphone users expect mobile services to be relevant, user-friendly and to perform well. Over half of users agree that a bad mobile experience will make them less likely to engage with the company, so it is important to make your site simplistic and easy to navigate. There are quite a few options to consider when designing a mobile website.

Native Applications: These applications are specifically designed to run a certain device’s operating system and typically need updates or adaptations to work properly for different devices.

Web Applications: Each time one of these applications runs, it needs to have all or some of the software downloaded from the Web. The type of device doesn’t matter, as long as it is a Web-capable mobile or tablet.

Hybrid Application: Exactly what you think these applications would be – these are a hybrid between native and Web applications. Most applications on smartphones are considered hybrid applications, there is an element of integration with the device’s file system and Web-based services, and it can function properly whether or not the device is connected. 

Responsive Website: Building your website to be usable and aesthetically pleasing across a wide range of devices. No matter what device these users are accessing your site on, the design will cater to them. It uses a combination of a fluid layout and media queries to alter the design and layout of a website to fit different screen sizes. Basically, you have one site to maintain.

Web and hybrid applications are often chosen as a compromise. You will get some of the features at a reduced cost, but you also lose a lot of the fluidity and feel of a native application and you are also asking your users to open their browsers and remember a URL. If you’re serious about this route for a mobile design, do a cost versus benefit analysis.

For customized  and memorable mobile experiences, nothing beats native applications. This option is often pricey and requires maintaining code in as many as four different languages and constantly updating to stay current with the devices. An advantage to having a native mobile app is that it is easier than ever for a user to reach your branded content.

Before immediately jumping in to design your mobile website, it’s a good idea to first carefully consider the nature of your content, the needs of your customers, and the expectations of your business. Once you know what you have, and how to get it in front of the people who need to see it, you will have a good idea of which method you need to use to present your content to your customers.