Website design: Mobile vs Responsive
Technology has really changed the way in which we surf the web.
Before the smartphone the only real place to use the internet was at a desk.When smartphones exploded onto the market suddenly users could browse on the move, but the screen was tiny and touching the wrong button was a frustratingly regular occurrence. Enter the age of the ‘mobile’ website. Built to render on a small screen, with bigger buttons making it easier to view, scroll and click on menu options. Less clutter became a key design requirement as the ‘real estate’ of the screen was at such a premium. Heat maps of web traffic became critical in designing a mobile website that could really deliver a good return. Then just when everyone was getting used to this new way of browsing on the move, along came the next generation of devices – the tablet. A larger piece of web ‘real estate’ but it didn’t fit into the ‘mobile’ bracket and it wasn’t as large as a standard screen. At the same time as this new revolution of web surfing was rising in popularity so too were smart TV’s. A new way of designing websites was born – responsive. A responsive website understands what device is being used to browse the site and then render it in a way that makes the best use of the screen. The designer will still use a ‘heat map’ to determine the hot spots on a page, then prioritise them in the design so that when rendered on a smartphone, tablet, TV or even watch the top content is still working hard.