Mobile Friendly is Not Enough, or is it?
Since April 21 2015 Google conceals websites in mobile search, which do not meet the absolute basics of mobile web design like
- clearly legible wording without zooming in
- tapping a button without hitting more than one (You wanted to cancel the order? Oops, the ‘Order’ button was too close to the ‘Cancel’ button.)
- getting the message of the website across without scrolling horizontally for ever
and many more. Google calls it mobile-friendly.
Why is that important?
Mobile users have exceeded the number of desktop users last year. It is time to establish a standard, which doesn’t make users of mobile devices question their purchase. It has to be convenient, simple and functional. Google just leveraged its power to get it done a little faster. But is it enough? We don’t think so. We have been providing now-called ‘mobile friendly’ websites for 4 years. No big deal.
What is the big deal?
In one word: Engagement.
Firehosed with information, we tend to desperately filter for relevant information in the ocean of pictures and words hitting our brain every day. Think of a brain’s gatekeeper as this filter. When the information hits our eyes, it needs to be pleasing and ergonomic to be passed on and be processed. If stopped prematurely we won’t remember anymore and check something else. Done. Lost. Never come back.
That is where Responsive Web Design comes in. Responsive means that no matter the size of the device, the website will always be rendered for maximum effectiveness, which secures the biggest impact in the short time the attention span of the brain’s gatekeeper allows.
Please see below for two now-called mobile friendly designs, shown on an iPad screen. The one on the left is from 4 years ago, when tablets were not around that much, so all web designers built one fixed size mobile site for smartphones and one desktop site. The iPad is simply too big for this lean design. Many web designers still build this way today.
The one on the right is the new design, which is responsive. No matter whether smartphone, tablet big or small as well as desktop, it will adjust automatically to the size of the device. Which one, do you think, will attract more new customers to your business?
Responsive is better. Not equal. No way. See below how the website on the right is rendered in different size on another tablet size and smartphone.