Search is mobile. Social is mobile. Email is mobile. Your audience is mobile. Rachael explores the area of responsive web design and mobile.
Mobile has changed the way we consume content, making it easier for customers to access information more easily than ever before. For example, 59% of B2B decision makers now use mobile to research product/services when considering purchases (eMarketer 2013). So following on from our blog on how b2b users are engaging with mobile, in this post we’re looking at the latest ways to design for a mobile audience.
Designing with mobile in mind is becoming a basic requirement if you want to capture traffic and ultimately, covert these to sales leads. There’s an increased user expectation that businesses should provide a consistent experience across channels, and when users visit a mobile optimised website they are 74% more likely to return. In sum, mobile friendly websites turn users into customers (What users want most from mobile today 2012).
So, how best to design for mobile?
Responsive web design (RWD)
RWD is a web design approach that adapts the layout based on screen size. The idea of RWD is to make websites and email templates scale fit multiple screen sizes. The attraction with RWD is that it’s a cost effective alternative to mobile applications. Indeed one of the benefits of choosing RWD means that you can create one website for all platforms rather than having multiple projects and CMS controls for various mobile devices.
With mobile users on the rise, the uptake of this design approach has significantly increased and leading design websites now regularly post about their top responsive web designs. For some great examples take a look at the awwwards website, which has recognised some of the best entries in this category.
It’s easy to test if a website is responsive – simply shrink the size of your browser window when working on a desktop. If you’re viewing a RWD website then you’ll see the design re-size to fit either a mobile or tablet sized screen.
This year BDB worked with Safety Systems to ensure that its audience could easily search for product ranges on the go and also help them to stand out from the competition.
One area where RWD is still very much underutilised however is with email. Research carried out by Exact Target looked at 160 B2C brands and found that only 12% use responsive email design and 10% have a mobile-aware design, with the remaining 78% still using largely desktop-centric email designs. How many of us read our emails on our mobiles on the way to and from work? Especially when commuting, if you can’t read the email or click the links, the email is going in the bin!
Consumers are accustomed to mobile optimised content and this trend is becoming ever present in the B2B marketing arena. It’s becoming increasingly important for B2B marketers to become more mobile aware – we’re all trying to add value to our customers and one way of doing this is making it easier for them to access your information.
This blog was originally posted on BDB.co.uk where I was a Digital Project Manager working with international b2b clients.