Dedicated and responsive mobile design
Christian Karasiewicz 270005XS4E Visits (4300)
This blog post is contributed by Nabeel Ahmad, Mobile Learning Thought Leader, IBM Learning Developer
Designing websites is a double-edged sword. While it is a great skill to learn how to build a site using one of the hundreds of common website design methods, trying to keep up-to-date on web design is an uphill battle. To make things even more interesting, mobile website design is booming as of late. If you know how to build a website, then people will expect you to know how to build a mobile site. In the past two years, the number of mobile-specific sites has driven more traffic, making it imperative for businesses to have a good mobile presence. Even half of Facebook’s traffic comes from mobile.
So what is the best way to design for the mobile web (not apps)? Two common approaches are
Responsive sites are mostly designed and used to cover the three major devices: PCs (desktop / laptop computers) with large screens, tablets with paper-size screens and smartphones with index-card-size screens. Aside from physical size, you tend to use each device a bit differently and thus for different tasks. So hiding certain parts of a website or webpage on mobile devices often makes sense.
A great example of responsive design is Disney.com. For a site with the amount of media and complexity Disney has, this speaks volumes about the potential of responsive design. However, it does not always make sense to use responsive design, as LinkedIn found out when designing their iPad app, where their site is highly interactive.
Some mobile is better than no mobile
What about apps?
What good or bad experiences have you had using mobile websites? Chime in.
Nabeel Ahmad helps lead IBM's internal mobile learning strategy, focusing on access to educational and performance support opportunities for on-the-go IBMers. Nabeel is an adjunct professor at Columbia University where he teaches graduate-level courses on Mobile Phone Learning and Social Media for Learning. Follow Nabeel on Twitter at @nabeeloo.
Nabeel is an IBM Redbooks thought leader