Friday, September 6, 2013

Web Designing via Responsive Design or Mobile Application?

There is no question. Society has turned to mobile devices such as smartphone and tablets for most of their computer needs. Probability shows that three out of every five online searches are now conducted on a mobile device. Over the span of two years, there is an expectation of sales growth between 2012 and 2013, from 889 million mobile device units to over 1.4 billion.

These numbers only show the direction of where web design stands and where it is headed in correlation to the way users will typically consume mobile data and that is through mobile applications rather than web pages. Because of this, a dilemma arises.

Which approach should web designers, and web design in general,should focus on? Is it on standard responsive web pages or should resources be dedicated into building a purely mobile application?

Responsive page approach 

The advantage of a responsive page approach is its ability to be a “one size fits all”  approach. By doing so, a page can adapt to the user’s screen regardless of the device being used, whether it is a tablet, PC, or phone, without compromising its seamlessness on user experience. The responsive design encourages consistency among layouts.

Perhaps the most appealing advantage to using this approach is only one code has to be built to serve all layouts. Additionally, search engines will be able to crawl, index and organize the content of the responsive web pages.

Mobile application approach 

The advantage with creating a mobile application is its customizable ability on personalized experience. The user experience can be tailored to what the designer exactly wants which in turn makes for a more targeted user experience. It is also used for collecting user data which can then be used to give better customized content. Also, with the addition of App Stores for various platforms, there is a possibility of monetizing these apps easily.

Deciding on an approach will really depend on the context of a web site and its need, not to mention its end goal. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the mobile trend is definitely influencing web design of today.