It’s no secret that today bulk of the Internet users access the net from their smart phones. In India out of the estimated 249 Million Internet Users, over 50% of the users use their phones to access the Internet. With falling attention spans and growing competition, it is critical for marketers to ensure that the way their consumers view and access their website content on their phones to be of a high quality.
Unfortunately in India there exists a large confusion with respect to what constitutes a mobile friendly website vs what constitutes a responsive website. A mobile friendly website is one that correctly displays on hand-held devices like tablets and smart phones whereas a responsive website is one that provide an optimal viewing and engagement experience such as easy reading, low left to right scrolling, minimal re-sizing across a wide variety of accessing devices.
The responsive website is allows the user to view and access the website just as easily as he may have done on a laptop or a desktop, whereas a mobile friendly site essentially simply displays all the content but in fairly un-friendly and un-responsive manner.
Take a look at the 2 sites below:-
This is how www.cnn.com looks on a laptop.
The above picture was first reduced on Chrome to 50% in order to show a larger surface area and then cropped. Bear in mind when you view CNN on the laptop there are no left to right scrolls and only a top down scroll that allows you to view the various news articles clearly and easily
Let’s now look at how a CNN user would view the same website on his or her IPad in landscape mode. Remember there are lots of tablet users out there who prefer to access the web for personal use on their tabs rather than on their phone.
Notice how the website has adjusted the design according to the device the user is using. Once again there are no left-right scrolls, images have been adjusted to fit the user screen and content placements have been adjusted to account for the device size.
Let’s see how CNN.com stands up on a smart phone environment. As you scroll your I Phone you keep getting to see the rest of the website
Notice how the website design changes automatically to fit the new device environment! That’s a fantastic responsive website content displayed accurately and easily for the user to browse and use.
Now ask yourself- Does my website do this? Or is my website simply functionally accessible from any smart device? To check if your website is responsive or not try this free tool – RESPONSIVE DESIGN CHECKER
To showcase the difference let’s take a look at a popular brand of preschools in India – Kidzee and see how responsive their website is
This is how Kidzee appears on a 17 inch monitor- Clear and user friendly!
Let’s view this website on an IPhone and see how user friendly the site becomes!
Notice how the main visual does not automatically re-size to fit the device in question an IPhone. For a user this can be a huge put off as he would need to pan the image left to right to view it in its entirety. Furthermore when the user scrolls down the phone he gets to see truncated images and content.
How likely is the user to remain on this site on his phone? Are we truly engaging him to know more about us? Is he likely to think positively about us? We don’t think so!
Importance of having a responsive website content
The importance of having a highly responsive website content cannot be underscored in today’s time when most users access the web via their smart devices be it a tablet or a smart phone. If you’re using Google Analytics on your website a quick cursory look at the stats should show you the percentage of visitors who are accessing your website via non desktop or laptop devices.
That should give you a clear indication of the number of site visitors that you are losing out on a daily basis due to not having a responsive website.
A good corollary to not investing in a content driven responsive website is like having a large retail store spread across 5 floors and then not installing a lift on the premise. Would you rather have your customers walk up five floors? How many of them will give up the task and walk out of your store?
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