How many of you have a smart phone? How many of you have used your phone to check your email, purchase something online, or to look up a local store or restaurant? According to an article on brandwatch.com, 91% of American adults have cell phones, and over half of them have smart phones. Additionally, 34% of American adults have tablets. That’s a lot of different sized screens, bandwidth usage and restrictions, multiple operating systems and browsers- how does it all add up, and what does it mean for the future design of your website?
The rise of Internet use on mobile devices and tablets has lead to significant changes in web design, with many changes yet to come. Imagine a busy wedding planner or bride searching for the perfect menu for her special day... is your website easy for her to find, and is it easy to use? She may be searching on her phone while she’s waiting at a bridal boutique, or she could be browsing for a caterer on her tablet while she’s watching shows on T.V. in the evening. Event planners are multi-taskers, and you can be sure that they use multiple devices to coordinate events. How can you make your website accessible across all of these devices?
An option you may consider is having a mobile site. Mobile sites are generally a simplified version of the main site, most often with a single column layout and scaled down image files for a faster load time. It’s the details that really make your user’s experience a great one, like using buttons to click rather than having super tiny hyperlinks that are really easy to fat finger.
Another option is to have your website optimized for responsive design. Unlike a mobile site, responsive design adjusts to the screen size of any device, from a large monitor to a small phone screen. This means that your all traffic goes through the same domain, and nothing is sacrificed between viewing the site on a desktop vs. a tablet, it keeps a consistent theme and strengthens your brand.
An example of a website that is not mobile-friendly is dreamwaytrading.com. If you go to the site on your phone, you will see that the text is very small, you have to zoom in just to read it, and it is difficult to accurately click on different links. While the website looks fine on monitors and laptops, it is harder to use the smaller the screen gets. Dreamway Trading has recently made the decision to go with responsive design as they move forward with a complete redesign of their website to ensure a better experience for their customers, including better navigation and rearrangement of content.
The e-commerce giant, Amazon, has all its bases covered- they have responsive design AND a mobile site to ensure that anyone visiting their site on any device has a great user experience. Try it out on your devices, and you will notice differences. Ultimately, their goal is to minimize the number of clicks it takes to get an item into your cart and then to proceed to checkout. While these examples are retailers, you share common goals of getting the customer to your site, making using your site a pleasant experience, and getting them to commit to a purchase.
A few other things to consider about your website is how usable it is for users with disabilities. What kind of experience is someone going to have if they are using a screen reader to navigate and investigate your site? Proper use of HTML and CSS coding and web standards help make your website accessible to everyone, and it is great for SEO (search engine optimization.) One example is to provide alternate text for images.
I believe that responsive design is an excellent option for your business to consider. From corporate events to parties to weddings, the people planning the events that are seeking out your services are doing so on multiple devices, from desktop computers in the office to tablets and smart phones at home. Responsive design adapts to whatever sized screen they are viewing, and it will have the same look and feel from a monitor to a phone.
In the ever-changing world wide web, it is imperative to make changes as technology improves. As you are considering changes to your website and investigating CMS software to manage content, now is a great time to think ahead and plan for accommodating mobile and tablet Internet users.
Haszard jessie mobile presentation
Mobile & Tablet Design
How Can Optimizing My Website Help My
Jessie Haszard, for Collins Catering & Events
Smart Phone Internet Usage
Of the 91% of American adults that have a cell phone, 56% have a smart
28% of Internet usage comes from a mobile phone
34% of American adults also own a tablet
Consider your website’s usability for users with
Proper HTML and CSS coding improves
accessibility and SEO
Collins Catering & Events
Due to the variety of events and people you
serve, responsive design serves the people that
find you on the web on any device they use.
Responsive design also goes through the same
domain, regardless of device, improving page
rank rather than splitting it.
Adapt to changes in browsers and technology
New CMS to manage content
Consider how to best serve mobile and tablet