Mobile Site and Full Site – Which One to Have?

mobile vs full blown sites

In this time and age of mobile devices capable of streaming web content and digital media, having a website that has a separate mobile-optimised version is an investment that pays for itself over the long run. Mobile devices have grown to become a staple in web usage, so much so that analysts observed a 1000% rise (0.7% to 7.1%) in mobile browser usage from 2009 to 2011.

Problems in Mobile Usage and Web Design

The advent of mobile browsing has not surprisingly, thrown a proverbial wrench into the business of web design, what with the smaller screens of mobile devices. It’s a common mistake for people to believe that offering the full website to mobile users is important to having the best experience possible. However, what good is that content to mobile users when they can hardly use it?

Mobile Site Experience, Richer

That is the problem mobile-optimized websites attempt to solve. Numerous studies on mobile usability have all found the same results: mobile users have a richer and more convenient experience on mobile optimized sites than full sites. Mobile optimized sites may be leaner and have lesser web features, but users will have a better time navigating and interacting with a well-designed mobile site. Besides, most features available on full sites are also available on mobile sites—they just require an extra click or swipe for access.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the basic desktop user interface is just poorly suited for the mobile platform. Desktop and mobile UIs differ greatly, from interaction controls and techniques, to the way users read and view online context, to the manner of sending and receiving data to and from the site. This isn’t to say that desktop-based web design can now be shelved, as it is still the best option for the majority of desktop users. There is a symmetry to all this, which is why the best solution is to offer both options alongside each other. Creating a mobile-optimized site doesn’t have to be costly and it allows you to tap into multiple segments of your market.

If you need help in deciding the mobile or full site question, Enform’s always a click away.