Set Your Sites on Small Devices

mobile websitesThe word is that mobile devices will account for about 50% of web traffic by sometime in 2013. In China, mobile users have already outstripped the use of the PC.* This creates a whole new set of issues for web designers. It’s always been a challenge to have websites display consistently across browsers, especially the older browsers that don’t comply to web standards. Large companies and retailers have typically designed a separate mobile-friendly site. Now it’s possible for companies with smaller budgets to have sites that display and read well on small devices. This is because “responsive design” is now built in to a lot of templates and coding, such as what you would use for WordPress.

Responsive design assures websites will read well not only on small devices, but large (tv) monitors. The website “responds” to what device the user visits from and adjusts accordingly.

Depending on your offering and your audience, it may still make sense to design a separate mobile site that pares down your offerings and calls to action. There’s a great example in this article on Mobile First in .net magazine of sites side by side, mobile vs. desktop. This article is a good read because it makes the case to think “mobile first” when designing a website. It forces you to  focus in the information that is most important to your consumer and present that information in the simplest way possible.