With the improvement of smart phone technology, websites are being constantly accessed from mobile browsers and mobile devices. This means that the conventional design techniques may need to be tweaked to suit different screen sizes and be cross compatible with the plethora of devices in the market. With multiple companies launching newer models every day, the competition for how your website will be viewed is also hotting up. The experience of a mobile user is so significant in making or breaking a sale that now website’s are forced to change the way they looked or behaved based on what the users want. This article explains why you should make your website responsive or mobile friendly if you haven’t already started.
Starting April 2015, Google will start giving priority to websites which have a mobile-friendly version of their site. Google has already started providing tags to search results which indicate which web page is mobile friendly i.e. can be easily viewed on a web page. As per Google’s Webmaster Blog:
“Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.”
They go on to say: “When it comes to search on mobile devices, users should get the most relevant and timely results, no matter if the information lives on mobile-friendly web pages or apps. As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, our algorithms have to adapt to these usage patterns. In the past, we’ve made updates to ensure a site is configured properly and viewable on modern devices. We’ve made it easier for users to find mobile-friendly web pages and we’ve introduced App Indexing to surface useful content from apps.”
Other search engines are also most likely to follow suit and give preference to mobile friendliness in a website. Yahoo and Bing, like Google also give priority to responsive websites and openly indicate that.
The main aim for any website should be to serve up what the user wants and how the user wants. With the drastic shift in internet usage to mobile devices, websites also need to adapt to this shift in pattern. This is called Responsive Design. Responsive Design is used to reduce data usage on mobile connections by stripping off unimportant parts of the website and only focusing on the important aspects. Modern web design must make adjustments for different types of screens including mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, projectors and even window displays. Every screen needs to have the unique features based on their usage and based on their functionality.
W3CSchools says that “RWD stands for Responsive Web Design; RWD can deliver web pages in variable sizes; RWD is a must for tablets and mobile devices.”
Larger buttons, larger font size and a design optimized for a mobile screen are ideal in giving the best website experience to a mobile user. Other factors which are given priority is element spacing, especially for things like links, popups, buttons and even drop down lists. The whole point of this is to ensure that the end user focuses on exactly what they want and not the flowery features of your website which are presented to desktop users.