The number of people using mobile devices to access web content is growing at a staggering pace. One-fifth of consumers say they have used a mobile device to look up directions and maps, and when compared to last year, twice as many used mobile devices to look up products for purchase. With these kinds of statistics, it’s pretty clear that responsive design – or design that renders differently based on the viewing device – is critical to the success of your overall marketing success.
Because mobile devices are by their very nature easy to use, it is becoming increasingly common for people to use these mobile devices to access web content while they are doing other things, like commuting to work on a train, waiting for their doctor’s appointments, hanging out with friends, and/or watching TV. So, you would think that if you are a TV marketer (someone who promotes television-watching) you’d really want to make sure your web content was easy to access and interact with on mobile devices, right? So, I was really surprised when I went to keepamc.com on my smart phone and couldn’t easily execute the task they were asking me to do. Worse, I really wanted to do what they were asking – send an email to Dish Network to tell them NOT to drop AMC. But, because they hadn’t created a mobile version of their site, I had to work just a little harder than I would have expected. I would have spent much longer on the site had the design been friendlier. (By the way, the campaign AMC is running to keep dish from dropping them is brilliant in almost every other way, and I’ll be terribly disappointed if it doesn’t work.)
Back to the topic at hand: I’m not saying you should have a separate site for mobile devices, just that you need to consider how your content is going to display when accessed via a mobile device. You can create a version of your site that displays content based on the mobile device (m.target.com vs. www.target.com). It pulls content from the same place, just renders it differently. Or you can create your web site using responsive design, a la fork . When you use responsive design, users across a broad range of devices (mobile devices or others) and browsers will have access to a single source of content, laid out to be easy to read and navigate with a minimum amount of resizing, panning, and scrolling. Either way (mobile version, or responsive design), just make sure people can see your content from whichever device makes them happy.