Content, Responsive Web, And Mobile Strategy
By John Foley on January 2nd, 2013
You should plan your content, all your content, for mobile. Sound crazy? Maybe it is. But here’s the thing – you know you need to keep your mobile content relevant. Mobile users don’t want the fluff. They want what they want, when they want it…on their various mobile devices. So when you are planning your content using responsive web design, you should think from a mobile standpoint.
- What information do I need my mobile users to see?
- What information do my mobile users want to see?
- What other content would be beneficial to my mobile audience?
- What else can I add that would improve the overall mobile experience, not seem stupid or come across as absolute fluff? What would be cool but not annoying and useless?
Once you answer those questions, then look to your website. Think about your desktop audience. Would you answer any of those questions differently when posing them about your desktop users? And if you do answer those questions differently, why?
Look, just because you have more real estate when you’re creating your website for your online (desktop and laptop) audience doesn’t mean you should abuse that real estate and fill it up with a bunch of gratuitous images, text blocks and so on. No, you don’t have to have a minimalist approach, but you should think in terms of streamlining.
Ever been looking for something online, whether you are on your smartphone or on your computer, and gotten annoyed at trying to wade through a lot of “junk” that just makes it that much harder to find the content you really need? Well, consider your audience. You don’t want them to be that annoyed user who is one touch away from heading to another site to get what they are looking for.
It wasn’t too long ago that many businesses were stripping away content as they developed a mobile site. They looked at their traditional website and wondered what they could take away to make it “fit” on the small screen of a mobile device. And some are still doing this.
And when you get down to it, doesn’t it just sound…well, wrong?
Doesn’t everything you have on your traditional site have a reason for being there? Isn’t it all wonderful, tasty goodness that you (or someone on your team) thought at some point had a good reason for being online?
It’s depressing to think about what you need to strip away in order for a mobile site to be readable or useable to the audience. Sure, there are certain businesses that have mobile users who are searching for very specific things. And having a different mobile site (or perhaps even an app) may make absolute sense. (Not sure what your business needs? This is when you partner up with a company like Grow Socially – they can take a look and help you either way).
But when you know that you don’t need specific mobile functionality that would necessitate an app or separate mobile site, isn’t it logical to provide your audience with a responsive, seamless design? And in that case, working from small and then scaling up makes total sense. You aren’t stripping away anything. You are building a new, awesomely terrific experience that can be enjoyed by users across all devices.