UX Tip #99 Do you really need a mobile website?

UX Tip #99 Do you really need a mobile website?

January 19 2018

I can imagine that if I were to ask you this in person, the conversation would go something like this:

Me: "Do you really need a mobile website?"

You: "YES! Of course we do!"

Me: "Why?"

You: "Have you been living under a rock? As of June 2017, 51% of the world's population has internet access. In fact, more people have cellphones than toilets!"

Well, actually, hold on there tiger. I can't argue with the stats, but that doesn't mean you need a mobile website. Let me explain...

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The trend these days is to make sure that your website is optimised for every device, every screen size, every pixel density. That's great for flexibility, for the mobile web, and for your organic search results, but it’s worth stopping and asking whether this is really necessary, particularly if your website is an internal business tool.

Sometimes it’s an easy decision to make - you know that your staff will only have access to the site on their work computer, so you know exactly what devices you need to target. In fact, many businesses in Australia are still stuck on Windows XP and even Vista, so responsive design is the least of their worries.

However, if you’re not sure, you don’t need to go all in just yet; develop for the most common use case that you’ve identified throughout your research (you did do some user research, right?) and tag your site with a tracking code from a service like Google Analytics.

After some time you’ll be able to identify patterns in how your users engage with your site, including the types of devices they’re using.

Armed with this information you can make an informed decision about where to put your time, effort and money - if nobody is trying to access your site on a mobile device then there’s no point optimising for mobile.

Yet.

 


 

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