Mobile Web Design - Dayton Ohio

The market has been telling us for about a year now that the web device of choice is the phone. Did you listen? By our own measurements (Google Analytics), phone traffic on most websites has more than tripled in the last two years and in many cases exceeds the desktop traffic for those same websites.

Designing for Phones and Devices

Responsive Design Does Not Mean Phone Friendly

in Mobile Web Design

So now, you think you're out of hot water? Google says your site is mobile friendly? Just because you can read your site on your phone without pinching and tweaking it doesn't mean it's friendly. Let me put it this way (albeit extreme); if you were going to put War and Peace on a phone, would you just publish it the same way you did in hardback?

My gut feeling is that now that Google has made you aware that being phone friendly matters (if you weren't already), then just blurting out the content of your website down along a single column in readable phone format does not make your website phone friendly!

I say it to my clients all the time, nobody wants to read a novel on a phone. Hence the War and Peace reference. So how would you make War and Peace phone friendly? Here's what I would do. Go buy the Cliff-notes version first of all. That's a good place to start. Then, break your pages up into meaningful thoughts. The mobile site should reduce everything to it's bare essentials and should also give thought to what specifically a person is looking for while on the phone. As the lines blur between PC and Phone, the notion of just looking for a phone number is losing ground. Then blog the individual sections. Blogging has a lot going for it. It's easy to do. It works well with audio and video and it has RSS build in (more on that later).

Bloggers don't do enough audio and video. You have at your disposal your own internet TV station. So, we're not there yet with our own business websites but we do have something to model. I think one of the best phone applications for taking web content and making it phone friendly is Flipboard. That application takes and incredible amount of content from the web and presents it to the user in a way that is amazingly intuitive and enjoyable - even on a phone! A close second to this would be Pulse. (Both apps are available for Android and iPhone). Both of these are feed readers. IF those apps can do that, it should not be too much of a stretch to create an app that pulls in data from websites in much the same way. I'm guessing that this is where search is headed and if Google doesn't create the APP to do it, they will be up-ended by the company that does.

That said, there is one web technology that's been around for a long time that apps like Flipboard rely on. It's call RSS; or Real Simple Syndication. That little orange button at the top of a blog is a dead giveaway. We're not ready just yet (at least for the budget minded) to take on the likes of Flipboard but if you can make sure you're building your website with RSS feed capability, you just might be one-upping your competitor. RSS feeds have enough other applications to make the practice desirable in any case - like for instance creating an automatic newsletter.

So, this is a round-about way to tell you what you already know. You need to blog more. You need more audio and video (so do I obviously) and you should consider using blog applications for most of the content on your website...not just on a page called "blog". The other thing that RSS readers rely on is new information. If your website is stuck in the 80's, you might consider a change...and don't tell me you don't have time. Blogging as a business driver is a great motivator. This blog I'm writing now took all of 30 minutes. No excuses!