Kathy Smith
Sr. Website Designer

Now is the Time to Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

responsive design for websites, mobile websites

As website developers we’ve been hearing for a long time that mobile web usage will overtake conventional website usage some time in 2015.

Scratch that – now they are saying it will happen in 2014!

We’re starting to see tremendous shifts in the data on the sites we’ve developed. For some of our customers, this has already happened, particularly some hair salon and city government sites.

Why is it important to make your website work well on many platforms? For one thing, if your customers can get around easily on your site, it makes them feel you are friendly and forward-looking.

But if they have to pinch and squeeze on their smartphone, it’s not as good as when it simply . . . works without the hassle.

We are encouraging our business-to-consumer clients to improve their user experience with Responsive Design, a method where the website automatically adapts to the size of the mobile device being used.

Here are examples:

Go to blog.lakevisit.com on a regular PC or laptop. Minimize the view of the blog so it doesn’t take up your whole screen.

Then grab the lower left corner of the screen with your cursor and move it gradually to the right. Watch the header (where the logo is). You will see the sailboat/lighthouse graphic jump to the left as you bring the cursor in, so it can be read on narrower and narrower mobile devices. It is adjusting the rest of the site below as well.

There are now five separate, standard sizes for the Visitors Bureau blog. Each kind of mobile device automatically views the correct size.

Here are two more examples; these are major companies that incorporate Responsive Design: www.microsoft.com and www.bostonglobe.com.

In contrast, check your own site. As you make the screen smaller, you will more than likely lose more and more information – the person viewing it either needs to make the whole site smaller, typeface and all, with the pinch-and-squeeze method, or scroll sideways to view the parts he can’t see.

Another option

Responsive Design is the most favored way of making websites accessible on multiple devices. A less expensive option is to create a small mobile website that has just your business’s basic information – hours, address, list of services and so forth – or a sales message that makes them want to learn more – and then if readers seek more information they can click into your main website, where they must do the usual pinch-and-squeeze.

By the way, only about 10 percent of our own viewers view our website, www.lakenetwork.net, on smartphones since we are a business-to-business site. But we recently converted it to Responsive Design for demonstration purposes . . .

about lakenetwork

Lakenetwork is a family-owned business providing website design and development for companies, professionals and organizations in the Cleveland, Ohio area and beyond. We specialize in providing the most cost-effective and appropriate solutions for clients’ online needs. We are located in Eastlake, Ohio.

Get in touch...