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Smartphone Websites

Smartphone websites in New Zealand and the globe

Smartphones are consistently increasing in use in New Zealand and globally. Mobile devices are predicted to eventually surpass personal computers as the most common web access device worldwide, this increased use can not be ignored. Increased adoption comes from the convenience, and affordability of these devices, with prices starting below NZ$200. With smartphone usage now ramping up, it is becoming increasingly necessary to not only consider these devices, but cater to them in your website build.

As can be expected, it is necessary to change your game a little when designing and building a website for mobile access. The user experience and goals are different in nature to desktop browsers. Major considerations need to be paid to:

The lower attention span of smartphone browsers, who are seeking a specific result, and will not stick around on your site too long to find it. They are on the move, between places, and easily bored. You need to capture their attention immediately!

  • More image reliance for mobile viewers - they are not going to take the time to read heavy text content - information needs to be clear and immediate.
  • Slower download speed, meaning that content has to be reduced, while also ensuring that essential information is present. This means that designing your content appropriately is of increased importance.
  • Smaller screens, meaning that less information can be displayed at any time without the user having to scroll further and further.
  • Any flash that exists in your website will generally not be accessible in mobile devices. This is changing, however complicated flash sites can still be a nuisance for smartphone browsers, even if they can access them.
  • The portable nature of mobile devices. These devices are not fixed to a location of office, or home, but can be used any time at any place. With mobiles being near permanently with their user, the potential usage for smartphone web browsing is unlimited!

With smart phones now being accessible to the masses, there are various ways for businesses to further develop their own web presence to suit these devices. As use of these devices increases, it is clear that there is a need for business websites to be able to move to these platforms. There are two main predominant methods for achieving this:

  1. Create a "native application" for the likes of iphone and android. These are versions of websites that are created specifically for one mobile system, usually available through their market. Through these, the user experience is completely optimised, to suit the user's device. Costs for these are typically lower than a complete website, and user experience, which leads to brand loyalty, is increased. This option does, however, mean that new sites will be required for any different mobile platforms you want to use the service, thereby increasing costs.
  3. Reduced, or optimised website for mobiles. This is effectively a different version of your website that mobile browsers are redirected to. Through this, browsers view content that has been adjusted to suit mobiles. These sites will operate over the majority of mobile devices, and have a different appearance to your general website, increasing usability for your viewers. This is the most low cost method of developing a smartphone site, as almost all devices are covered in one site.

While each of these above options has its own merits and draw-backs, which have been briefly touched upon here, it is best to look at these on a case by case basis. The first step in finding out how to best develop your website for mobile use, is to find out what your users will commonly want out of the mobile version. Any aspects of your site that are not useful for mobile browsers should be removed, while any desirable additions should be made. This research into your customer and client base will ensure a useful site is developed for your business in the future.

Expert can advise you on how to develop your web and smartphone presence based on your individual requirements. Contact us for more information on this expanding mobile world.

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