In the era of the mobile revolution, it is worth thinking about providing your customers with the opportunity to work with the site using smartphones, tablets, etc. We need to give them the opportunity to solve any business processes in a mobile mode. Even vector graphics in Android can now be edited, not to mention the simpler tasks.
When reorganizing a site, you should pay attention to the mobile version.
It is impossible to ignore the growing interest in mobile sites, but I would like to find out whether customers really need a fully functional mobile version or is it just a desire to succumb to the newfangled trend.
Jump into the wagoon soon!
Today, mobile devices have taken an important place in the life of each of us. The rise in smartphone use and the availability of fast mobile internet connections have been a powerful impetus for the mobile revolution. All companies, regardless of the type of activity, must take this into account, otherwise they may suffer from this in the near future.
The mobile device is a new and exciting toy that is already dictating the future for our business and career. It’s no wonder we want to be a part of it. But this scenario is reminiscent of a story from the past, when many print designers retrained to become web designers. When the Internet appeared and became generally available, everyone wanted to create their own personal website, and the world of printing was retrained and rebuilt. Many sites were created in the days when no one visited anyone. But for many, the trend wave was more important than demand.
It is right that time does not stand still, and we want to keep up with it. Nevertheless, I would like to make sure that we do not make decisions for our clients and do not solve problems that are not yet needed, just to increase the number of works in our portfolio.
Do the clients need a mobile version?
Timing is everything. For a business trying to make a profit, return on investment always matters.
While the mobile version is needed, it still brings in a very small percentage of total traffic for many organizations. Very often, mobile optimization is at the very end of the list of tasks that need to be done in web design. Business goals, specific features and technical issues take precedence, especially if the company is relatively small.
Investing in the future is undoubtedly important for the client, but if it is invested too early, you risk investing in a less profitable business that will break out of the trend when it touches the client directly.
Many customers are also seeing the rise in popularity of mobile devices. They want to create a mobile app or website because they enjoy playing with their shiny new mobile device. Clients understand that the mobile version is the future, so they decided that now is the right time to invest in mobile sites. But this may not be the case for all types of businesses. The mobile version may not be worth the investment at the moment. Timing is everything when it comes to the return on investment.
Of all the shiny things, its own app shines the brightest. Whatever your arguments for your own developments, if you put aside prejudices, it is difficult to disagree that for our customers the application may not be the coolest and brightest.
When users think of mobile, they think not only of the website, but also of mobile applications. They do not promote mobile versions of websites on TV, but regularly advertise stores and individual mobile solutions. Customers may not know the difference between a native app and a hybrid – it’s our responsibility to explain the difference, but when they think about a product, they still want their own “cool, shiny, and in the App Store.”
However, such implementations are expensive. You will need developers with special skills who are well versed not only in programming, but also know the peculiarities of UI design in different countries and other chips. It may sound obvious, but developing a mobile application is much more difficult than creating a website. in fact, it is software. Software development projects require planning and time-consuming testing, so it takes a lot of time.
Then you need to consider several platforms. If you follow the route of your own application, then every time you transfer it to a new platform (Windows, iOS, Android, BlackBerry), you have to do a lot of work again. Few things can be reused. In addition, operating systems are updated several times a year, and of course, such changes require updating the mobile solution, so you will need to create a new version of it at least once a year. When working with Apple, for example, there is no guarantee at all that your application will be added to the store for sale or free download.
You can reduce costs by using hybrid solutions and html5 apps. They have their pros and cons, but the bottom line is that such development is an expensive business.
Hidden costs of adaptive design
There comes a time when you need to create separate versions of the site for mobile devices. Since users are replacing laptops with tablets and many access the Internet from mobile phones, this step may be quite justified for some companies. At the same time, for everyone else, responsive design is also a good solution because the new stylesheet is applied to the existing client HTML implementation and it cannot be expensive to implement.
At least in theory. In fact, everything is much more complicated. Everyone claims that responsive design is a cheap solution, but that depends on how far we go. At its most basic level, responsive design just requires some CSS changes. However, we all know in practice that this is not always the case. Making an existing website responsive can be very difficult and time-consuming, especially if you come across old HTML that is not easy to change.
Responsive design is not as easy as linearizing content. Many elements require special attention. The first thing that catches your eye is site navigation, which often scales very poorly on mobile devices. You can, in principle, use the hamburger menu and some of its alternative options. But this is not the only problem. Maps, videos, slideshows and tables also require special attention. In addition, third-party widgets that support content on a site are not always responsive design in mind.
Price of images
The biggest problem is images. Many web designers rightly assume that placing images to fit the desktop on mobile devices is impractical due to bandwidth constraints. In addition, we must now consider devices with high pixel density displays that require even more image expansion. Optimizing images for different platforms and creating a mechanism to implement them further increases the cost of responsive design. You should consider these details when deciding to create a responsive website.
They are already talking about optimizing typography so that it displays correctly on any device. Again, the idea requires many details to be taken into account, and with it the cost of such a design increases.
Now, screens change not only in size, but also in pixel density. Oliver Reichenstein talks about creating more than just responsive layouts, you also need to create responsive fonts. He launched a new website with responsive typography and custom responsive fonts.
Of course, our desires don’t matter. What matters is that we have to offer our clients the services that matter to them. This often entails providing a solution that we feel is inferior. Not every client needs a Rolls-Royce, some will be satisfied with a regular Skoda.
Choosing the right solution
Return on investment should be the primary criterion in determining the right approach. If the customer has a large audience that is willing to pay good money for the app, then you can go and “build a Rolls-Royce.” But if the project is more speculative, then start with something simpler.
But money shouldn’t be the only deciding factor. Choosing between a native app and a responsive design, for example, isn’t very budgetary. Besides, it may be that responsive design is more expensive than an application.