Mobile User Experience in Website Designs…
In an age where an increasing proportion of tech-savvy people are using their mobile phones and tablets to access the internet, it’s important that companies respond by providing them with a user experience that’s every bit as slick and polished as it would be on a desktop computer. But according to a recent report by TheSearchAgents (http://www.thesearchagents.com/2014/02/the-uks-mobile-experience-scorecard-report-ftse-100/), many of the top businesses in the UK are not currently providing this.
The report found that more than half of the FTSE 100 companies are not tailoring their websites towards mobile users. While 42 of the top hundred companies listed on the London Stock Exchange are providing dedicated mobile versions of their websites, only two are employing responsive web design. The other 56, it seems, are not catering for mobile users at present. This could be a very big mistake on their part, effectively alienating an increasingly large proportion of their website visitors.
The options for mobile web design
Separate mobile-specific websites and responsive web design are the two main methods used today to optimise for mobile user experience. The former requires the creation of an entirely separate website that automatically loads when the site is accessed from a mobile device. The latter uses ‘media queries’ to automatically adjust the parameters of the site – such as resolution and screen size – for the device in question.
While both methods are commonly accepted ways of tackling the problem, responsive web design is regarded by many as the future of mobile-optimised design, and is being adopted by a growing number of websites.
Why is a mobile web design solution needed?
This apparent neglect of mobile user experience by top companies is significant because it may be negatively affecting their ability to reach their customers online. Though websites that haven’t been optimised for mobile will still display on such devices, they may be awkward to use and difficult to read. Because mobile devices have smaller screens and use different resolutions to their desktop counterparts, regular websites may result in usability problems like sideways scrolling and unreadable text.
For companies both large and small, these niggles can result in lost sales opportunities, particularly when a growing number of people are using mobiles and tablets to make online purchases. In turn, the refusal to spend a bit of extra time and money optimising their websites for mobile use could cost some of the UK’s largest companies a fairly hefty chunk of their profits through lost sales.