RECAP: Why Going Mobile Matters

Last week’s presentation, Why Going Mobile Matters, was successfully filled with several inquisitive attendees, delicious donuts and bagels, and fresh coffee. Thanks to those who attended for bringing lots of questions with you- we hope you left with the new knowledge you were seeking! For those who couldn’t make it, we’ve put together a recap of the event information, complete with a link to the slideshow we used. Thanks to Steve & Sarah for putting on a great presentation!

stevesarah

Google warns 6 in 10 people will leave your mobile-unfriendly site if it’s not optimized. What’s worse is that 40% claim to go to a competitor with a mobile-friendly site.

sarahsteve

  • Keep it quick
  • Simplify navigation
  • Be thumb-friendly
  • Make it easy to convert
  • Make it seamless

After deciding you want your website to be mobile-friendly, you need to decide which route you are going to take.  Each company is unique and should choose which mobile route it’s going to take based on user experience, customer requests/expectations, and analytics.  Many people aren’t familiar with the differences between a mobile app, mobile site, and responsive site.  There are several differences, advantages, and disadvantages for each, and knowing what those are will help in deciding which is best for your company.

Mobile App.

  • An application built and released for a specific mobile operating system.
  • Typically installed through an app marketplace

Examples:

Advantages of Mobile Apps:

  • Best access to hardware capabilities (camera, GPS, etc.)
  • Constant presence on audience members’ home screens
  • Ability to monetize app

Disadvantages of Mobile Apps:

  • Typically more expensive to develop and maintain (iOS version, Android version- you have to account for different hardware and versions of operating systems)
  • Marketplace restrictions
  • Easy for users to miss

Mobile Site

  • A separate version of a website that’s optimized for mobile users.
  • Typically has fewer graphics and streamlined access to content.

Examples:

Advantages of Mobile Sites:

  • Tailor your site experience to “users on the go”
  • Can link mobile site to desktop version
  • Cheap/free services available to generate a mobile site from the desktop version

Disadvantages of Mobile Sites:

  • Can be difficult to maintain updated content if not connected to main site
  • Your assumptions about what information is important to users may be off
  • Where do you draw the line on what’s “mobile?”
  • Redirect mishaps, content being unavailable

Responsive Site

  • A single site that can be served equally well to mobile and desktop browsers.
  • Uses CSS media queries to adjust the layout based on screen size.

Examples:

Advantages of Responsive Sites:

  • One site to develop and manage
  • A consistent user experience across phones, tablets, and desktop
  • Existing sites can be retrofitted to be more responsive
  • Future-proof in regards to new devices and screen sizes

Disadvantages of Responsive Sites:

  • Harder to completely reorganize content for mobile users
  • Can be more expensive (time and price) to develop than a typical site
    -Less so if it’s built responsively from the start
    -Hard to do properly when treated as an “a la carte” feature*
  • Responsive images still need some work

*Responsive Retrofitting

  • Responsive principles can be applied to existing sites to help make them more “mobile friendly.”
  • Cost and degree of difficulty can vary tremendously between sites but something can be accomplished within a few hours.

steve

Questions to ask when approaching mobile for your site:

  • Is my mobile app/site doing anything that requires me to go native?
  • How much time will I waste duplicating content between multiple versions of my site?
  • If a customer’s only experience with my brand was through my mobile app/site, would he/she be satisfied?

“Mobile later is better than mobile never.” -Kristofer Layon

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