Responsive Mobile Design – What Does It Mean?

More and more visitors view websites through their smartphones and other mobile devices with greatly reduced screen sizes. Making sure that your site is not just visible but also functional on these devices is becoming increasingly important.

Mobile devices usually make it easy for users to zoom in and out, but this puts the burden on the user and constantly zooming can be very awkward.

From a design standpoint, there are two basic options for giving mobile users a better experience: Restyle your existing site, Create a separate mobile site.

Just as with separate print stylesheets, the first option is to simply reformat existing pages to be friendlier for mobile users: narrower width, single column format, larger buttons, and so on.

Having a single site that’s simply viewed differently is definitely an advantage from the standpoint of maintenance.

Contnet Management – Mobile Plugins

Content management systems (CMS) typically allow you to easily change the look of your site by switching templates, and this makes them prime candidates for this restyling approach to mobile devices. Your CMS might offer a plug-in or extension that makes it simple to offer mobile users a different view of exactly the same material

However, there are good reasons for thinking that a change of stylesheet is not enough and that a mobile site needs to be re-built from the ground up (while still maintaining the same general look and branding of the original site).

People user mobile devices differently than they use desktops or even laptops. Sessions tend to be very short; touch screens and more limited inputting means that navigation and other task need to be even easier, there are more likely to be offline distractions, and so on.

All of these factors mean you might have to think differently not just about the overall design but the organizational flow of the site. For more about designing sites for mobile visitors, use the search term.

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