How Important is Responsive Web Design for B2B Sites?
The journey on internet dates as back as 1997. Yes, that was era when internet gave birth to an easier version of technology. While a major portion of the world was looking at websites and ease obtained from this new technology in communication, there were some people warding off the fears founded from D2k.
In the initial times, low resolution CRT monitors were being used. Pages were designed for these monitors for a very long time. The speed was low then, dial up was the only way internet worked and images were often switched off. But, this was just the beginning of your internet age. Slowly the dial up age went on to ensure that the broadband age began. Speed increased, the kind of monitors that were being used changed and more than that people began to be present on internet for different reasons. This gave birth to a whole class of information overload in the minds of the people. During this time people began to use monitors that possessed high resolutions had flat screens and better capabilities. The systems became powerful to match the needs of the internet world.
Today the technology is inexpensive as well as a necessity. You see a major boom in the world of smart and cool devices. While, at one point only desk computers ruled the world of internet, today you enjoy more than just a single device in this matter. There are various smart devices which include smart phones, tabs, iPads, mini computers, laptops etc. that possess the power to make you stay connected with the world wide web. Browsers have also grown by leap and bounds. While initially only internet explorer was considered to be a browser, today you have both internet explorer as well as other browsers ruling your world which include Mozilla, Google Chrome etc.
Today the mobile world is gauging popularity. This is probably why you observe a rise in usage of internet. How can you avoid looking out for good content when you have access to internet on the go? The challenge was to develop content that can match the size of the various smart phones and be accessed in the small screens too. The websites needed to be developed separately for the mobiles as the ones that were developed for the big screens could not be accessed on the small screens. Pages needed to be tailored to match the size and the screen resolution of these small devices that were called mobiles. They are indeed simpler when compared with the full sites but not necessarily easy to build. Here is some insight into the design and technology used to build mobile websites.
Focus of mobile design is completely different from that of regular websites. For one the smallest of mobiles is about 4 inches diagonally which makes it relatively smaller when compared with the other websites. Also the image resolutions needed for a fast access on mobile websites is comparatively lesser. You would see that the physical restrictions on mobile make it difficult for them to allow you to access full websites in the proper manner. There would always be some resolution error or some major issue that you would face when you try and access them. Even if they are displayed, you will be seen zooming in through the websites just to make it readable enough. That’s not really how you would want mobile websites to be. This is probably why the older websites are being transformed into proper mobile websites understanding the design considerations for the same and making sure that the mobile devices size and structure is being considered before trying out something for the same.
Mobile has a single screen which looks like a column of your huge website. So, when you are designing websites for mobile devices, you need to make a single column layout that would be easily visible on a mobile device. Compact is the key in case of mobile designs. When designing mobile pages, you need to check on navigation and menus too. You need to understand that navigation and certain page elements will change for mobile design.
You will need to note down which layouts match the mobile design best. What kind of navigation will work for the single column layout? Make sure you make relevant changes in page elements, remove the unnecessary ones when designing the mobile layout.
The second design consideration involves touch screens. Remember you need to develop the sites such that possess mouse over properties as these websites may be accessed using a QWERTY keypad or a touch screen. You need to be sure to devise a mobile mouse over design that qualifies for both the kinds of screens people regularly access their phones from. When you are dealing with websites, you need to make sure that you touch on the point of interface and hardware. While you think you are designing for smart phones, you need to consider that your audiences can be using the net from a low resolution regular internet phone. Are you prepared with the mobile website for such an access? This is probably why it is suggested that you make an interface that can be run on both kinds of phone. A separate interface dependent on the kind of phone being used is a good idea.
Like your smart phones would give out QR codes which is not always obtained on a regular internet phone. You can have maps on your mobile website for a restaurant or shop to lend help to your consumers allowing them to search for you immediately. You need to ensure that the interface opens up to the kind of device being used. This is probably why an intuitive design is essential for most mobile websites. Design and technology should be combined in order to make sure that they are absolutely qualified for any instance of smart phone.
Technology Devised for Mobiles
Mobile technology is slightly different from that of full websites. Generally you would see that websites are styled using CSS which looks into the styling of fonts, colors, width of the page, and other such elements. The coding for the websites are done using HTML which seems to be running strong till date. CSS is the reason content is displayed the way it has been. If you are planning on some changes in the website, you need to work on the CSS of the website. You should always remember that the screen size is the reason why the CSS needs to be changed for the mobile websites.
Read here which is better java Script or CSS
Once you have built a mobile website by tweaking the CSS needs, you need to get your visitors on the mobile website. One way of getting that done is by arranging for a sub domain. This is the most popular way of having more visitors on your mobile and a high rate of conversion too. You see that people visit you when your website redirects them on the mobile to the mobile website. This can be done using the m.website.com sub domain factor. For iPhone users the i.website.com feature is quite a popular one that redirects them to the full website as soon as they login to the website using their iPhones.
Other way of redirecting the people to use your website are also possible. In some cases you can allow the website to decide which device it is logged on to. This is intuitive way of designing which includes having some queries designed for the website. You need to base the conditions on the resolution and size of the device and allow the website to decide which device it is logged on to. This way it can open up easily. Remember that there are chances of error when using this method. The reason being the different browsers and their mechanisms! You will find that the mechanisms adopted by the different browsers are always different and so there are chances of error in these web designs.
You can always ask the user whether they want a mobile site or a full website when the device is being accessed using mobile. This is another method of using mobile websites
Pros and Cons
Ease of access is probably what makes a mobile website very convenient. You can access the website whenever and wherever you want to, and you get to know the content instantly too in this case.
Said that you will often find some limitations and restrictions when accessing the mobile website! You will see that when your website has been designed to be accessed on a small screen, the experience is also limited in a major way. So you may need to take that into account.
Interacting becomes an issue. Though easy to access, when you begin to read the content you find that you take a longer while to scroll through the content and read it completely. Of course with the modern mobile websites, the browsers have become more convenient. You find that they are able to save the passwords and remember the cookies easily. So you can avoid typing which used to pose an issue earlier. Now you just need to login and allow the website to remember it.
Flash videos can pose to be a heavy load to your mobile website. You will find that the mobile websites were unable to access flash websites sometime back but it has changed now. Things have become more accessible in the present times. Though Apple phones still fail to recognize flash videos, it has changed for other phones. One the heavy load of flash has reduced and videos have recently been embedded to the sites thus reducing their sizes too. These websites now match the various speeds designed for smart phones.
Advertising can be made to work for the mobile counterparts of your websites too, and the ads are completely in focus when operated using a mobile website. You will find that ads can attract consumers on mobile.
With a simple link you are connected with your audiences across platforms. This is the beauty of a mobile app. Your consumers’ tend to access you more often when they are traveling or when they are playing with their phones. Being present on mobiles makes your presence more viable and increases your conversion rates too. When you are designing a mobile website, you have already begun planning for its long term maintenance, so you don’t need to keep watching out the maintenance of the website.
With the various mobile apps, you can make your viewers see just the content they are looking out for. This way you are making the whole visibility task simpler for the mobile phones. When you are optimizing the mobile websites, you cannot really optimize it for all sorts of screens and devices. It is usually difficult doing that.
The slim design of the mobile makes it an easy version to navigate and simpler to use form of website. You will find that more and more people prefer this mobile website as it allows them to see things at a glimpse and you can even make things available to them easily. Navigation is easy with the mobile websites.
It’s time to look at the upcoming trends for mobile websites. Remember to keep a watch on your competitors to understand how they are faring in this world of mobile websites. You need to make sure your designs match the latest trends.
It is always good to stay ahead of the competition and cater to your consumers with the desirable content and mobile websites that will help them. Make sure you use the design and technology that matches the consumer requirements. Intuitive design is the key to getting engagement on mobile websites and ensuring high levels of conversions. You need to be visible. Finally mobile websites should be indulged in whatever be the cost of design and maintenance if your brand needs it.
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