Recently – Jakob Nielsen the self-proclaimed usability expert on all things web-related – suggested in his ‘mobile usability guidelines’ that “Good mobile user experience requires a different design than what’s needed to satisfy desktop users. Two designs, two sites, and cross-linking to make it all work.”
Props to Nielsen who has been the grandfather of website design since the early ’90s – before there was really any such thing as user-experience. Everything you want to know about Jakob Nielsen and his website design can be learned by visiting his site here.
From a functionality standpoint it’s difficult to tell what any particular audience wants from your company’s mobile website experience. For example, are users hitting the mobile site for contact info? To order quickly? Or to check the status of something? Whatever it is – the content must be consistent with the traditional desktop website. One sure way to upsetting your customers is to provide either desktop or mobile users different content. Imagine mobile users getting a coupon for 25% off their offer while desktop users get 35% off.
While as of late the popular choice when considering various devices has been ‘responsive design’ – a method with which a desktop website can designed to respond to mobile or tablet devices and maintain a level of consistency with respects to user-experience. The problem is however that responsive design has yet to become standardized and results are mixed.
At Red Rocket, we are cautiously optimistic when it comes to bleeding-edge technology and because of that – have evolved our development process to include such devices but never at the risk of garnering the desired results our customers are looking for. What we’ve come up with is a desktop experience that has evolved from mobile and tablet devices without jeopardizing content.