User preferences are evolving…rapidly. Is your website ready? – Part 1

Right from theatre sized displays to 3.5 inch mobile screen, users can access your website and its content on any size of the screen. Imagine the debacle if your static website doesn’t provide a consistent experience to users on every device screen, it will not be a very favorable proposition from a business generation point of view. Just take a cursory glance around and explore the incredible plethora of devices that users access web content on.

How mobile based Internet access has evolved?

Remember WAP – the rudimentary mobile web access protocol of earlier times? It could be at best used for checking local public transport time table or train schedule. The outcome of this standard was pretty poor user experience on a limited bandwidth. Not to mention huge Internet access bills that got clubbed with mobile usages charges and made the overall experience very unsavory

With the explosion of smartphones into the technology landscape, things changed quite rapidly for the humble mobile. Enterprise solutions started taking the burgeoning mobile audience central to their growth objectives. With this realization came the need for better user experience designed specifically around the mobile user. This gave rise to mobile specific websites that replicated desktop website content to the mobile screen and firmware limitations.

Cut to more recent times, mobile websites have increasingly been seen as stripped down poor cousins of their desktop versions. This did not help much in enhancing the smartphone user experience any further. Additionally the costs of maintaining separate desktop PC version and mobile version didn’t offer any meaningful business value. On the other hand, increasing popularity and innovation from mobile device OEM’s meant bigger and more variety of screen sizes. These presented its own set of unique challenges that needed something better than what was already being offered to end-users so that user experience doesn’t dwindle when the user accesses content from one device to another.

The answer to these challenges? Responsive mobile design

In our next part, see how responsive design is closing the gap between smartphone and laptops for accessing Web based content.