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Responsive and Adaptive Mobile Websites

As capable smart phones become more affordable, a significant and ever increasing number of people are using their mobiles to visit web sites and to make purchases via the web.

Whilst it is possible to view standard websites on a mobile device, a site optimised for mobile use can offer a better user experience.

As a result of the increased opportunity to advertise and sell to mobile users, many website owners are providing websites optimised for use with mobile devices.

 

responsive web designUC4 offers a choice of mobile website solutions, providing cost effective mobile solutions to meet a wide range of requirements. All of our mobile website solutions can be run from a single content management system.

 

  1. Responsive Websites – The lowest cost option. Page layouts adjust to the size of the screen being used.
  2. Simple Adaptive Websites – Detects if a mobile device is being used and sends mobile appropriate content.
  3. Advanced Adaptive Websites – Detects if a mobile device is being used and delivers functionality and content to make the most of a mobile’s features.

Responsive Mobile

This is a simple and inexpensive way to build websites for mobiles. The advantages are as follows:

  • The website runs from a single content management system
  • The same data is sent to all devices, so there is only one version of each page to maintain
  • Pages are adjusted to suit the size of the device they are displayed on. For example on a mobile, the navigation choices might be represented by a dropdown to make them easier to use, or elements normally displayed in columns side-by-side will be displayed in a single column one after the other.

Most pages optimised for desktop websites assume a high speed internet connection and may load slowly on a 3G or 4G mobile. Responsive design sends the same content in a mobile friendly layout so doesn’t improve load times for mobile users, unless compromises are made to the desktop layout.

Simple Adaptive Mobile

On an adaptive website the web server overcomes the page loading drawbacks inherent in responsive designs by only sending data the mobile device will display and optimising it for a small screen. The advantages are as follows:

  • The website runs from a single content management system
  • There is only one version of each page in the CMS.
  • The web server outputs pages optimised to suit the size of the device they are to be displayed on.

This approach results in a better user experience for both mobile and non-mobile users. The UC4 Content Management System has a module to generate mobile websites using this approach.

A Simple Adaptive Mobile Website can run from the same domain as your desktop website, or can use a mobile domain like http://m.yourname.co.uk

Advanced Adaptive Mobile

Not all websites provide a satisfactory mobile experience by merely adapting the pages from a desktop website for use on mobile devices. A balance must also be maintained between providing information and obscuring the purpose of the page (e.g. purchasing an item or filling in a form) by overwhelming the user with too much information.

Not all content is suitable for mobiles. For example, the detail from large drawings cannot easily be viewed on a small screen. There is also evidence to suggest that mobile and desktop users tend to use websites in different ways. On an advanced mobile website these issues are taken into account to prioritise information and functionality for an optimum mobile user experience.

The advantages are as follows.

  • The website runs from a single content management system
  • Pages can have desktop and mobile versions in the CMS.
  • The web server outputs pages optimised to suit the size of the device they are to be displayed on.
  • Information on pages is prioritised for mobile users needs.
  • Phone features, such as geolocation, are used to improve functionality.
  • Enhanced user experience will improve visitor retention and conversion rates.

An Advanced Adaptive Mobile website can often be very different from the desktop website so is often delivered by a mobile domain like http://m.yourname.co.uk