Is your business accessible from multiple platforms? Most companies have a more basic approach for mobile users. They have their designers build the website for desk-tops and lap-tops, then trim the site back for mobile users. This worked fine for a while, but because of how consumers are changing the way the web is being used considerably, this needs to change. Now, your business needs to customize the website for each device. If you don’t do this, you could be missing out on some big opportunities. “Mobile devices are now more than just another customer channel; they represent the most significant evolution since the mouse,” says Wentworh, T. (n.d.)
The research firm Gartner shows most common devices that access the web will be mobile in the very near future. Here are the statistics, by 2013 browser-equipped enhanced phones will have 1.82 billion units, leaving PC behind at 1.78 billion. Here is the problem, many sites don’t function well in mobile browsers, reported Walsh, M. (n.d.).
In order to customize sites, “Let’s start by understanding you users and design an experience with their priorities in mind,” says Wentworh, T. (n.d.). Unlike desk-top and lap-top users who are multi-tasking, mobile users are focused. They want less clicks,don’t want an over load of information and are more likely to make trans-actions. Tablets, on the other hand are more of leisure browsing. Users are usually relaxing at home and are open to a more immersive experience.
Let me show you an example of a company that is functional across these platforms. Notice figure 1 and 2 of Orbitz websites.This is what we call content prioritization. Since the screen is so much smaller on a cell phone versus a website and the user is less interested in all the details, let’s give them the experience they are looking for.
For the mobile user, it’s much more friendly for them to navigate up and down instead of side to side. This is because of the shape of the phone and size of the screen. In fact, there are many changes, the goal is to make it easy for your customer so a conversion takes place.
Since the screen is so small, there are constraints, it’s important to stay focused when building sites for mobile. Some say that makes mobile limited, “I believe they it’s inherently good for user experience and, as a result, business overall,” says Ma, S. (n.d.).
We need to be thinking mobile first because there is such a huge audience emerging, this is the time to seize the moment! “But, this isn’t just an opportunity to create a mobile version of web product to take advantage of this growth; it’s an opportunity to provide a vastly improved experience for your users”
It can be difficult deciding what to include on websites, so that’s is another reason to build mobile first. your team will be forced to stay focused on what’s important, so then when you build your site you will already have a more targeted message.
Technology is evolving and the risk of not changing with it may mean lots of lost opportunities. I believe the most important thing to take in consideration when deciding should I take this step is: not being a pioneer in your industry. If you don’t do it, there’s a chance your competitors will.
Here is another advantage: mobile devices can bring customers right to you. Thinking mobile first gives you the opportunity to think of how location awareness can build your product experience.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that this is something for your business? I understand these kinds of decisions can take time and timing is everything. Give it a couple of days and let’s talk again to let me know which direction you plan on going.
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References:Walsh, M. (n.d.). MediaPost Publications Gartner: Mobile To Outpace Desktop Web By 2013 01/14/2010. MediaPost– News and Conferences for Media, Marketing and Online Advertising Professionals. Retrieved June 21, 2012, fromhttp://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/120590/Wentworh, T. (n.d) . Why Mobile Design Should Never Be an Afterthought. Social Media News and Web Tips –Mashable – The Social Media Guide. Retrieved June 21, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2011/08/05/mobile-design-priority/Ma, S. (n.d.). 10 Ways Mobile Sites Are Different from Desktop Web Sites. UX MATTERS. Retrieved june 21, 2012,from www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2011/03/10-ways-mobile-sites-ar…Ma, S. (n.d.). 10 Ways Mobile Sites Are Different from Desktop Web Sites. UX MATTERS. Retrieved March 21, 2011,from www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2011/03/10-ways-mobile-sites-ar…Mobile first! | Feature | .net magazine. (n.d.). .net magazine | The worlds best-selling magazine forweb designers and developers since 1994. Retrieved June 21, 2012, fromhttp://www.netmagazine.com/features/mobile-firstDawson, A. (n.d.). Mobile Wed Design: Best Practices. Six Revisions. Retrieved June 21, 2012, from Mobile first! |Feature | .net magazine. (n.d.). .net magazine | The worlds best-selling magazine for web designers and developers since 1994. Retrieved June 21, 2012, from http://www.netmagazine.com/features/mobile-first