Mobile Friendly vs Mobile Optimized vs Responsive Design

While texting, talking and emailing are the most-performed activities on mobile devices and smartphones, more than 70 percent of consumers also use such devices to search for brand info. Clearly, there are many reasons to adopt a website design that’s easily accessible for mobile searchers. When it comes to achieving that goal, you’ll have a choice of designs that are “mobile friendly,” “mobile optimized,” or “responsive.” Here’s what you need to know about each option.

Mobile-Friendly Design

A website design that’s “mobile-friendly” is one that will be functional on desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones. This design refers to a site that may not fit on all mobile screens, but it will still be usable regardless of what it’s viewed on. It’s an option many developers prefer because of its versatility. A mobile-friendly design typically includes:

• Contact info (phone numbers, physical address, directions, email address) linked in a way so that a call be triggered with a touch
• Image rotators or slideshows that work without Flash (it’s not supported by Apple)
• Appropriately sized images and videos to avoid issues with page load time

Mobile Optimized Design

A site that’s “mobile optimized” is one that will automatically format itself for whatever handheld or tablet device is being used at the moment when it’s being viewed. Web sites with this design will reformat accordingly to fit any mobile screen. Mobile optimized designs also make navigation easier for on-the-go users by:

• Eliminating unnecessary graphics
• Leaving spaces around buttons meant to be tapped
• Making it possible to tap rather than type as often as possible
• Providing the option to switch to a desktop view (as may be necessary for searchers who happen to be at work while browsing)

Responsive Website Design

A website that’s designed to be responsive is one that will be in the right proportions regardless of what screen it’s viewed on by a searcher. The entire site as a whole is reformatted and re-optimized to make a website responsive. A responsive design can be cost-effective when:

• You want a site that makes “impulse purchases” easy to complete
• You have commodity content that needs to be available and accessible from multiple sources (like blog posts)
• You have a mix of visitors from both mobile and desktop screens

With online attention spans at under ten seconds these days, any site that’s not easy-to-use isn’t going to generate traffic or conversions. Make smart decisions with your website design by turning to the team at Create Web Studios. We’ll help you understand your available options and produce results tailored to your needs and budget. Contact us today to learn more about our mobile design services.