Some web developers say that mobile readiness falls under the umbrella of responsive design, while others see it as an entirely new beast. No matter what side of the fence you’re on, one thing is certain: Responsive design, at the very least, well prepared you for mobile readiness. Or at least it should have if you’ve been keeping up with the best practices and prioritizing the user experience.
Responsive design is ensuring that your website shows up quickly and an in attractive matter no matter which browser or device is being used. In other words, your website design “responds” whether someone is using Chrome or Firefox, the latest iPhone 6 or an ancient desktop device.
Mobile readiness is exactly what it sounds like: Your website is ready for mobile usage. There are two ways to get mobile ready, and you can choose one, both or none. The pair includes having a mobile version of a website and having an app. You might not necessarily need both (or either) of these approaches, but they’re worth considering.
Curious how responsive design got you prepped for mobile readiness? Here are a few ways they tie together:
- Being an empathetic web developer
Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is an important skill to have, especially when it comes to web design. When you were all about responsive design, you wanted to make sure that every single user regardless of how they got to your website had a good experience. That’s exactly what the goal of mobile readiness is—it’s just focusing more on mobile devices than all devices. People don’t like to wait, and they’re going to blame your business even if it’s the fault of a web host, their own device or poor Wi-Fi signal.
- Testing, testing, testing
How do you know if your website is responsively designed and stays that way? It requires nearly constant testing, especially since there are so many new devices coming out all the time. The same is true of mobile readiness—a good web developer has the tools necessary to test on a continuous basis. In a mobile ready world, there’s a special emphasis on mobile device testing.
- Keeping things simple
Nothing kills a user experience faster than an ugly design or a slow website. With responsive design, you learned how to format a website so that it was beautiful no matter how a person accessed the site. You also learned that all that flash, auto videos and too many large images were a speed killer. That experience will serve you well in a mobile ready world. It helps when designing a mobile version of a site, an app, and when remembering that mobile users are even more impatient than desktop users.
- Dishing up just the big information
Having a lot of information and images on your website that serve no real purpose isn’t helping you, your business or your customers. You learned that with responsive design, and that’s going to be a huge help with mobile readiness. If you thought your current website was clean, sparse and minimalist, it’s going to be nothing compared to a mobile version of a website or an app. Keeping things basic with plenty of while space is crucial for speed and user engagement.
Have you made the transition from “just” responsive design to mobile readiness yet? If not, 2015 is the year for it.