The most important mobile investment your company can do in 2013 is to go responsive, if you haven’t already.
We’ve come a long way in a very short time. Today, even the largest sites have been redesigned from the ground to be responsive, adapting its appearance depending on screen size. It wasn’t long ago that just a few sites had a sibling, parallel mobile site, and even more recently that many companies decided to take the app path to reach their mobile users and thus ignoring users surfing to their sites using mobile devices.
The mobile sites of the past had the disadvantages of the complexity of multiple site maintenance and losing the ability to use the same links across channels. Apps with the purpose of just providing web like content created disconnected islands and forced the developers to maintain apps across different platforms at a high cost and for very little value.
Responsive Web Design has emerged almost as the universal answer to the question:
“How do we reach our mobile users across screen sizes, browsers and platforms, with web content and functionality?”
At the Swedish Internetworld’s annual Top 100 Web Sites award gala, the project teams behind the winning sites in every category came on stage to receive their awards. When asked what their plans for 2013 was, the most common answer was:
“We’re going responsive!”
So, what does it look like? Well, it’s easy to check it out yourself. You don’t even have to have a smartphone. The sites below are my favorite responsive sites. Visit the sites and just resize the browser window, and you’ll see how the the navigation and content fluidly gets rearranged to still make sense.
- Starbucks: http://www.starbucks.com
- Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com
- Harvard University: http://www.harvard.edu
- The Next Web: http://thenextweb.com
- A Book Apart: http://www.abookapart.com
- BBC: http://m.bbc.co.uk/news (not truly responsive since www.bbc.co.uk redirects to a mobile site)
The Next Web’s site on iPhone5
If you are looking for even more inspiration, you can follow my “Responsive Web Design”-board here…