So, you need a new website. You know it needs to look great, represent your brand well, show off all your latest work and news. But have you thought about how it looks on a phone?
The fact is that no matter how great your website looks on a desktop computer, if it doesn’t look good or function well on a mobile phone or tablet, you’re missing out on innumerable opportunities.
How many opportunities are you potentially missing out on? Well at Ronin our viewership over the past 12 months looks like this:
The majority of page visits to our own website in the past 12 months have come from tablets and smartphones
Google and Ipsos’ 2015 Brand Building on Mobile Survey found that:
“Mobile has more impact on consumer actions than television” (Yuan Wang),
after finding a consistently higher rate of purchases and positive engagement across the board.
Combine this with the statistics below, and it’s pretty clear to see that designing a website that neglects the mobile audience is going to suffer.
of Australians are using their smartphones at least as much as their desktops when searching for information
of the total time spent online is on tablets and smartphones
At Ronin, we’ve been monitoring these statistics for years. Once we saw the majority of visitors to our clients’ websites were coming from smartphones, we adapted the way we design websites to the responsive ‘mobile-first’ approach. Unlike designing completely separate mobile sites, where everything is coded differently from your main website, designing responsive websites means that you have one website that scales to all screen sizes.
Traditionally, responsive design was done by designing layouts for desktops first, and designing down from there (from a large imac, to a laptop, to a tablet, to a phone). The Mobile-First method flips this process! The key difference is that when designing for a desktop first, you make decisions for a large space, which can often be hard to translate into a smaller space. There’s also certain functionality (i.e. actions that happen when you hover over something) that work great on a desktop but not so great on smaller devices, leaving the mobile experience lacking in comparison.
Mobile Websites are completely separate from the main website, with 2 URLs, and 2 sets of code.
Responsive website design features scalable code so it fits all screen sizes. Desktop-First responsive design considers bigger screens first, and works down.
Mobile-first responsive design considers phone sizes first, making sure it looks and functions great there before designing for larger screens.
All three methods of website design ensure your content is legible for all sizes, but designing Mobile-First forces us to think more about the user experience for the majority of visitors to your website, instead of leaving it as an afterthought. This means it’s not a ‘cut-down’ version of the ‘main site’, but is in fact a beautifully-designed complete website, built for the growing number of people viewing websites on the go. It is also much more practical than a Mobile Website or App, as you only have to do edits on the one website, which filters through to all devices.
When people are increasingly engaging with brands online, your website is one of the most important marketing tools you have at your disposal, so it needs to make the right impact. If your website looks beautiful on a desktop then that’s definitely a step in the right direction, but if it hasn’t been mobile-optimised, you’re making it much harder for a large portion of your audience to have a positive experience with your brand, making them unlikely to return.