The User Experience
One assumption a website owner cannot make about a business website is that it will be viewed by everyone the same way, on the same browser, or on the same device. Business owners have a responsibility and a challenge of providing a solid user experience no matter how the user views the website.
So designers must anticipate these different experiences and plan accordingly. This is one small part of the web design teams considerations when wire framing or laying out the initial design of the site. This is why we study the field of user experience and design to provide the best user experience. However, ensuring usability doesn’t necessarily mean ensuring the exact same design or experience across all devices.
Based on the needs of your users, you have a few options to consider as you bring your business to the Internet and mobile world. You might choose to make your website responsive. I know that is my choice when I design a website. Try resizing your browser to see how this site responds to large and extremely small screens. This is responsive design and it changes for each viewer’s device size. A responsive site changes its shape and layout based on the browser window and device type. This is an elegant solution but constant testing is always required.
However, it may require rewriting your entire site or building a new one from scratch to take full advantage of the flexibility. Detecting the user’s browser and device can also help you figure out what to show them when you design your wire frame layout. By using special codes called media queries, your server can detect how users are accessing your site and adjust accordingly, displaying a full version or a mobile version of your website. In some cases, companies might decide to point mobile users directly to an app download if they believe users will get the best experience that way.
Mobile App or Mobile Site?
Satisfying the needs of your customers should be a central concern. So if a mobile app will benefit users, keep them engaged with your business, and lead to profitable conversions, it’s an option worth considering. However, if your website can satisfy the needs of your mobile users even on a smaller screen, perhaps with a responsive layout, you may not need an app at all. In either case, give every user a chance to be successful no matter how or where they connect with you.