Mobile development is quite evident in today’s world. Most people use mobile devices and a variety of other portable gadgets which are used for accessing the internet. Therefore, browsing is also done with the aid of such devices. The business owners who have to invest in business website need to take this important factor into account for making their sites accessible.
The need for mobile designing of websites
There is the usual query about the need for designing mobile sites. The answer to this is simple, on a desktop or even a laptop with a large screen the space present for showing the homepage and successive pages of a website are quite broad. The presence of larger space allows the designing of websites in a way so that substantial information can be displayed on the main page. However when the same website has to be viewed through a mobile or Android Smartphone, then the navigation will get affected along with the view. It is not possible to simply squeeze a comprehensive website into small bits. Even if downsizing is done to make it fit the smaller screen size, then it will affect the visibility of the website because if everything is squeezed into a smaller size, then the user won’t be able to see anything properly.
On the other hand navigation with a mouse is not similar to touch screen navigation and desktop sites made for mouse navigation cannot be used for touch navigation. Therefore many problems crop when a desktop site is viewed through a mobile device or any other device having a smaller screen. Hence a form of web designing has to be employed that would solve the problem of website viewing across multiple devices.
Choosing between responsive web designing and separate mobile sites
When responsive designing is employed, then the website is tweaked in such a manner so that the same site becomes suitably viewable on multiple devices. This is a time consuming and technical task that requires the website designer to look into the various aspects of mobile designing of websites. However, some people also choose to have a complexlyseparate version of the website. This means that the website has a desktop version and another separate mobile version which is present for android devices. As a business owner, one might be confusedregarding the choice of making a different mobile site or using responsive designing for upgrading the main site. In order to clear this confusion the following factors are discussed below:
- The amount of information present on the website
Many websites require complicated designing and include a huge amount of data. These huge websites cannot be compressed or simplified to produce mobile sites using responsive designing because the amount of data can’t be inserted in the mobile version and reducing the amount of data will result in removal of important information which is important for the viewers. Therefore if websites are meant to be relatively huge, then it is better to stick to a separate mobile site.
- The pathway for accessing content
Content shouldn’t be reduced for mobile users but when responsive designingis used then the experience of the person who is using a desktop to access the site will differ when the same content is accessed through mobile. Comprehensive sites cannot make use of the same navigation pathways on both desktop and mobile sites because people are using finger touch for navigation on mobile screens instead of a mouse. Therefore the experience of the mobile users becomes an important factor and if the responsive designing is not upgrading that experience then sticking to mobile built versions is a good idea.
However, not all sites are huge and in many cases taking the aid of a UX design firm for sing responsive web design for building the website will save a lot of time and effort in the long run. There is no doubt about the fact that building a responsive website takes some time, but if it is done correctly, then the user base will definitely get broadened. The important factors which should be considered for making a responsive website are discussed below:
- Arranging navigation
The most important aspect when it comes to reducing the screen size of a website according to a device is the arrangement of navigation. The multiple menus which can be clearly arranged on a desktop window for navigational purposes cannot be present in a similar fashion on the mobile screen owing to the dearth of space. This is where the entire navigational system has to be kept under one icon. This will help the website owner to provide the opportunity to the users to see relevant information on the mobile version of the website and see the items under the navigation menu as and when required. Depriving users of content is not a good method so the separate categories present under navigation can be added as submenus, but that should only be visible when the person taps on that icon. In a general manner, this is known as the hamburger icon which is a box with three horizontal lines within it. Thisbox is usually placed in one corner of the site when the website is viewed through a smaller screen.
- The orientation of displayed data
The screen size will shift according to the device used by the person therefore responsive website developers have to keep the varying screen sizes as well as portrait and landscape modes in mind while designing the website. The data might be presented in a vertical manner or a horizontal manner, but the most relevant information has to be present on the forefront. Mostly advertisements are removed when mobile devices are used for accessing websites because advertisements take up screen space which cannot be afforded in case of small screen gadgets. If articles are present on the website, then the most relevant or latest one has to be shown at the top.
Therefore, building a responsive website means to provide users with a better experience when a variety of gadgets are being used for accessing the same website.