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Activate Design Limited

Making Websites Accessible on Smartphones

In recent months there have been some exciting yet curiously slow-moving technological ventures into smartphones as watches, smart glass and other creative replacement devices for our highly valued and versatile pocket technology - our iphones and android phones. I say 'slow-moving' only because these alternative devices haven't become the 'must-haves' to the extent that smartphones continue to be. However, these ventures into new devices have highlighted the fact that it's our smartphones that we most assuredly rely on, and despite the possibilities for a trendy new device to eclipse them, it's our smartphones that we are sure to be carrying with us for many, many years to come.

stack of smartphonesSmartphones have evolved to become much more than just our personal communication devices - they are internet browsers, social networking platforms, music players, personal assistants and personal development tracking. They are the link to our online presence, our access to business and personal data, and the way that we both map and navigate through our lives.

Desktop computers still look to have a place in our lives for years to come, but it's our mobile devices that accompany us wherever we go. These small devices have become something that many would freely admit they couldn't do without - enabling us to connect with family, friends and the local, national and international businesses that are part of our everyday lives.

If you have an online presence for your business you need to ask yourself - can my website can be accessed on a mobile device so my current and potential customers can find me? A smartphone is fast becoming the most common device used for internet browsing today, so if your business is not visible online via a mobile device, you're missing out.

Is your website simple to view on a mobile device? It may be accessible, but is it simple? If it's too hard to navigate your website on a smartphone, or other mobile device such as ipad, then your online audience will simply give up and try the next website and business in your industry. The scary fact is, once you lose the interest of those potential customers then you've usually lost them for good. First impressions count, and this simple truth certainly applies to the impression that your online presence makes on your viewers.

Making your website smartphone savvy

For an accessible, professional online presence for your business, let's look at these two simple options:

A Mobile Website

This is a separate website to your existing business website. A mobile site is designed and built to be as efficient as possible, with a layout that puts your most important business aspects at the forefront of the user experience for simple access to your most important information, including bookings, purchases, image galleries, events, current projects, contact information, location and more.

For simplicity of user experience, often a mobile website does not include ALL of the information that your original website does. This fact can become an issue and is something you will need to factor in when deciding between a mobile site vs responsive website for your business.

housemart mobile website on smartphone

A Responsive Website

Making your existing website responsive is something our experienced programmers can do. We utilise a responsive framework when building our new websites, and we can also make programming alterations to existing websites to ensure they too can function as a responsive sites.

To have a 'responsive website' simply means that when your website is accessed on a mobile device (iphone, android phone or ipad), your website will automatically restructure its layout and text size based on the size of the screen it is being viewed on. Very clever. This means that regardless of the device that the viewer is browsing on, they will have the best possible experience on your site.

If you look at these two examples of a mobile site versus a responsive site, you can clearly see the difference. Our responsive website is visible on the screen, but is going to require a bit of scrolling around and zooming in and out to find what you want. However, as a bonus - because it is your actual website all of your information is available.

The mobile site, however, is a lot simpler to use and view and can be designed to promote exactly the products, services or highlights of your business that you wish to project. It looks cleaner and simpler on screen, but generally a mobile site would not contain all of the information that is on your main website. Also, because it is a separate site keep in mind that it may incur additional website hosting fees.

So there's a brief look into the options for making sure your online audience has the best possible chance of finding you and staying on your website to view what you have to offer.

You're very welcome to contact us for more information or advice on the right online solution for your business, and remember that whether or not our iphones, android phones or ipads evolve as glasses, watches or some other yet undiscovered medium such a rings, caps or fobwatches, our smartphones will remain the first choice for online browsing for some time to come. To be competitive, all businesses need to ensure that their internet savvy audience can access their websites on any device, simply and easily.

Posted in Website Design

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