Most companies these days realise the value of having a website as part of the overall communication strategy that gets the message of the firm out into the world.
There are very few businesses that don’t have some sort of web presence and are realising the benefits.
As more and more people access the web on the move and use mobile phones and tablet PCs to view websites, the experience of the internet is changing for the end user. Optimising a website for those using mobile devices can make a difference to how customers interact with a company online and bring a different sort of value to online communications.
The mobile imperative
Web designers have been talking for some years about the “mobile imperative” with relation to the need to move towards websites that are designed to provide an experience that works for mobile users. With the changes to browsing behaviour, mobile websites are no longer an optional extra; they are a necessity to address the way in which web use is changing.
Research carried out by Pew Internet in 2012 found that 55 per cent of web users regularly used mobile devices to access websites while an astonishing 17 per cent used mobile phones almost exclusively for their online activity. The move towards mobile browsing is only likely to grow, and by developing mobile-optimised sites companies will already be catering for a majority of web users.
There are certain types of company that will benefit more from mobile optimisation in the short term. Those firms that offer consumer goods can readily realise the benefits of offering a mobile experience to customers by letting them find what they need on the go. However, as mobile browsing becomes the norm rather than the exception, more companies will need to ensure that anyone who wishes to see their web communications can do so from any platform.
Many companies moving towards creating mobile websites are doing so in a phased fashion, offering the parts of their website most likely to be accessed on mobile devices through an optimised interface and keeping the rest of their site in its original form. This has pros and cons, as with any decision. From a mobile user’s perspective, the lack of integrated browsing experience if they wish to switch from one part of the site to another can be jarring and lead to them exiting the site altogether and finding another provider that can meet their needs.
Budgeting for mobile
While an increasing number of companies are now recognising the value of optimising their websites for mobile users, the budget allocation may not match the desire to do so in an effective way.
Web design for mobile optimisation is a particularly resource-intensive process that involves testing the site on a much larger number of devices, resolutions and browsers than would be the case for a standard desktop website.
There is a reasonable degree of standardisation of screen size and resolution in desktop machines and three web browsers that provide the vast majority of access to the internet. On mobile devices on the other hand, the screen size, resolution and web browser combinations are much larger and require much more intensive testing to ensure they work on all platforms.
The pay-off is significant, though. Offering an integrated experience to customers and clients allows future-proofing of the online experience in the unstoppable march towards mobile-dominated browsing.
My Dear Reader
There is great value in providing a mobile experience to customers and clients that works and makes best use of their devices and data. Companies looking to move with the tide of change in web browsing will benefit from optimising their websites for mobile access in terms of customer satisfaction and reputation.
At this Junction (J) Time (T) i will be resting my finger and pass over the keyboard to you
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