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4 Ways to Make Your Website Mobile Friendly

May 8, 2013 Graphic & Comm. Design, General 0 Comments

mobile-friendly website tips and tricksCreating a mobile-friendly website, or an application of your website, can be tricky. There are many avenues you can take. Paul Boag, founder of Web design agency Headscape, says that “a good starting point is to ask whether users are primarily completing a task or accessing information.”*

To decide what form is right for your design concept, consider the characteristics and the content on your site. What do you value? What does your user value? Answer these questions and consider these four options for mobile design to determine which approach is right for you:

I value information.

Recommendation: Responsive Website

A responsive website recognizes and adapts to the device that is accessing it. It offers users the same site with the same content whether they are using a smartphone, tablet or pc. The website adjusts itself, using a visual design suitable for each device.

If your Web page is information rich, this is the right mobile design for you. Users can find the same information on their PC as they can on their smartphone. If your site has returning users accessing from various devices, they can easily navigate the site and find the information that they are returning for.

I value speed and features.

Recommendation: Native Application

A native application runs on the mobile device. These are traditional applications, found in the Android Market or Apple Store. Because they are running on the device and not from an external server, these applications tend to be faster.

If your Web design depends on speed, this is the right design for you. Additionally, if your design depends on native features – such as the mobile device’s camera roll or messaging system – this design could also help you. A native application can access the device’s features directly.

I value content.

Recommendation: Web Application

A Web application is a cross between a Web page and a mobile application; it shares characteristics with both responsive and native designs. It does not run on the mobile device’s operating system. Like a responsive website, it runs entirely online.

If your Web design is content oriented, this is how you will want to approach transitioning to mobile. A Web application is task focused in the same way as a native app, but does not rely on the device itself and can also be accessed from a PC. 

I value quick development.

Recommendation: Hybrid Application

A hybrid application is a native application that is built with Web technology. This building process allows developers to create it quickly and easily. It can be published rapidly, with little expense.

If you value a quick turnaround and are not concerned with design, this is the right avenue for you. A hybrid application may not perform as well as other designs, but it can operate offline and can be transitioned to multiple mobile platforms with ease.

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