Responsiveness vs. Mobile Dedicated Design
There's a new show in town - at least on the Internet, due to the fact that smartphones are completely changing the way people access the web. In the past, you built a website for PC users, and that was pretty much it. When the mobile web first came along, maybe you built a WAP site, or maybe you did what most companies did and ignored it. That was because WAP wasn't very successful at delivering an experience users wanted.
Fast forward until now, and you'll find that the mobile web has changed beyond recognition. There's likely to be a billion new net users by the end of the decade thanks to this technology. That's a huge market and one that no company can really afford to ignore.
So what are your options to ensure mobile web users can access your company's site?
Mobile Dedicated Design
Mobile dedicated design is where you task your developers to build you a second website, one that's completely dedicated to mobile users. It optimizes the platform to ensure that every mobile web user gets the right view of your products, services, etc. to enable them to make buying decisions.
It's a good strategy to take advantage of the mobile Internet, but it's not the best strategy since it involves duplication of effort. It's not the best of ideas to develop two nearly, but not quite identical web presences – which will result in more effort in maintaining, testing, etc. And, it's guaranteed that at some point an error will leave the two sites showing different information - a bad idea from a customer experience perspective.
The Alternative – The Responsive Website
A responsive website also caters to the mobile market. It also caters to the tablet market, the laptop market and the desktop market. By ensuring that your content is flexible and scalable – you can deliver the exact same experience on any platform. Better still, you only need to maintain one platform – cutting down on support costs and development time.
There's no doubt that a responsive website takes more effort to develop than a website serving the PC crowd, but there's also no doubt that it takes far less effort than maintaining one site for PCs and one for Mobile. Responsiveness is all about ensuring client satisfaction, maximizing your approach to each platform, whilst maintaining a sensible balance of how you use your web development resources.