If you keep hearing the words ‘you must be mobile friendly’ but aren’t sure what that means, let us explain.
This term is loosely used to group together tablets, phones and devices that sit in-between those sizes. Or perhaps better to say ‘not a traditional laptop or desktop’.
There are hundreds of different screen sizes but they mostly follow the smartphone/ tablet sizing, only a few are odd like the square Blackberry passport which you can safely ignore.
What you can’t ignore is that over a year ago the Internet reached the tipping point whereby more people were using these smaller screens to access websites than computers. I.e. it is the primary way people look at websites, and then maybe look further on a bigger screen.
It used to be acceptable to visit a ‘full screen’ website and double-tap or ‘pinch to zoom’ to read the site. But nowadays if you want people to read it you have to re-format your content to fit their screen.
There are two main ways of doing this:
The website itself re-sizes depending on your screen. If on a larger screen and you try dragging the corner of such a website it will typically resize in jumps as you reach different “breakpoints” (standard screen dimensions).
This will hide off some things, re-arrange boxes, simplify the menus using a drop-down or three-line ‘burger’ menu. All of which makes it easier to view and use on a tablet or phone (300px wide).
In fairness Tablets are now about the same size as a desktop/laptop screen was 2-3 years ago (1,024px wide), what it means is that a bigger size is also needed for the wider screens (1,200px wide) being the new standard.
Some providers offer a ‘special mobile website’, eg. go.mobi but typically they’re just a collection of icons and are a ‘fill this out’ to create a standard shape which is about as useful as putting all organisations and businesses in the same box. Your website visitors want answers, not buttons.
Alternatively you could build a mobile-only website, but given the changing screen sizes and that this would typically require writing your content twice, once for desktop/tablet and one for mobile.