I’ve been a smartphone user for nearly a year now, and I gotta tell you, nothing kills the browsing experience stone dead than a site that clearly isn’t mobile-responsive.
Since starting at Image Direct, I’ve oft heard that any website build must be mobile-responsive once it goes live. Let’s face it, a lot of people do their internet browsing on their phone or tablet these days; even though I’m still a desktop user, there will be times that I need to look something up on the go. More often than not, I’ll open my mobile browser and be met with disappointment, as whoever designed the site hasn’t taken into account that their site might need to be accessed via phone. To add insult to injury, the site might pride itself at being at the cutting edge of their field (as one event I attended recently touted itself as), but if their design aesthetic is still firmly stuck in Geocities circa the turn of the century, you have to wonder if they’re paying attention to changing trends.
To highlight how frustrating this can be, there’s an option in Firefox which can give you an idea of how any given website can look on a mobile device, at various resolutions. If it immediately snaps to a mobile-responsive view, wa-hey! All good. If it only looks like you’re viewing a portion of the page, guess what? It ain’t mobile-responsive. Even worse, what a site that fails to be mobile-responsive will do in your mobile browser is simply shrink the site’s display to fit your device’s resolution – and if you utilise a small-sized device like I do, then there exists a problem.
Ignoring having a site that’s mobile-responsive is to ignore a core section of your audience, and that’s dangerous, if not flagrantly stupid. It’s one thing to have a cutting-edge app that has all the bells and whistles (and they have their place), but realistically, it’s no substitute for an information-rich website that provides a service or answers questions, and if your potential customer can’t access it, both sides miss out.