Four Options to Consider When Designing the Mobile Web
- Status Quo
With a majority of mobile browser capable of displaying most sites perfectly well – so remaining status quo is one option if economics is driving your decision-making. Not having a mobile site will most certainly send some visitors away and if you’ve spent money to lure them, you’re throwing money away by not addressing the issue.
- Mobile CSS
One of the most common approaches to improving the mobile experience it is the least expensive approach, simply because a different CSS is being used to hide large graphics and deliver content in a more streamlined manner. Bandwidth is still an issue for most sites that are not delivering content dynamically and there is no standard resolution for all the various devices on the market.
- Create a Mobile Site
If you’ve got the budget and have made the investment to drive traffic to your site – designing a separate mobile site that targets mobile users needs is most certainly the way to go. It delivers the best experience specific to what mobile users tasks are. Some visitors may want to browse the traditional format and should have an option to do so, while developers may struggle with resolutions for various devices.
- Create a Responsive Site
Responsive sites are developed in such a way that it conforms to various browsers and devices with no loss of presentation quality. It’s bleeding-edge but still less expensive than developing a mobile specific website. From a design standpoint – it requires a great deal of planning and simplification which often means sacrificing some old standards.
In closing – the most important step is planning. I’m not personally a big fan of knowing what can’t be done – being tethered to reality is a real buzz kill for creatives. Budget will almost always be the turning point of a project as important as this – but don’t let that stop you from designing as if there were a version 2.0, 3.0 et cetera on the horizon.