Web Design – Mobile App Or Mobile Site?

It’s becoming unavoidable to have a website that can be viewed on a mobile device. With company’s registering analytics showing mobile traffic to their websites accounting for up to 25% of all visits it is becoming more and more important for your website to be easily viewed on mobile devices, be it a tablet or smartphone. But how do you do this and what does it mean for web design? Should you look to developers to create you a mobile app or should you work to incorporate mobile optimisation into your general design brief?

The obvious answer is that it is different for every situation and for every company. If you have a product that you are selling with an unlimited budget for development and marketing then creating a killer app to sell in the iStore will probably be more conducive to your brand awareness efforts. However in most other cases, particularly those applicable to small-medium business owners, a mobile optimised website is not only much much cheaper, it generally makes more sense. People will still find your website from Google on an iPad. People will still write your url into their browser on an HTC Wildfire smartphone after receiving your printed literature. Their first decision upon hearing about your business will not be to see if there is an App they can download, why would they do that? Unless you do not have a mobile optimised site.

Designers need to consider simplifying the options for mobile users, as well as shrinking the size of their content and frames to fit that of a smaller device. It’s not as easy for someone visiting your site on a smaller screen and without a keyboard to navigate through your site, so make it as easy as you can for the user. Take away some of the complex options on your site, make the buttons bigger and reduce the length of each page. Even colour scheme needs to be less complicated – these are HD, small devices we are talking about so don’t make your user nauseous by blasting them with 20 different colours.

If you can simplify and make your site mobile optimised, you have achieved what an App can and more for a snippet of the price.

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