Not so long ago the internet for most people was displayed primarily on a desk top or laptop computer. In this environment most things look pretty much the same. There were challenges and web standards were often interpreted differently between the various browsers but the page layout was designed to fit the range of screen resolutions of the day.
Early web access for mobile phones started around the turn of the century. The Nokia 9880i Communicator introduced in 1998 was a notable precursor to today’s smartphone’s with its large screen and web enabled network features. But the revolution to the smartphones we know today began with the introduction of first Apple iPhone in 2007.
With its large colour touch screen and innovative “apps” the iPhone was an instant hit not only with Apple’s dedicated followers but with the mobile phone user in general. Importantly the youth of the day were totally mesmerised with it’s ability to work in their Internet enabled world. Links into Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) made the smart iPhone, the iPad and Android the smart phones and tablets that followed, compelling must have devices.
The user experience for your website needs to cater for a seamless transition between desktop, either at work or at home, then out and about on smart phone or in leisure mode on iPad or tablet. Having the same information available in a format suited to the device at hand allows people to carry on researching products, services and activities uninterrupted.
- Responsive web design allows access to all your site core content no matter what device is used.
- Google recommends responsive web design and more importantly, it has a "mobile first" policy.
Bear in mind that many people may only be able to afford one good web-enabled device and that will invariably be a smart phone.
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