Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

If I can’t read your content on mobile – why does that still happen?

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I’m still amazed at how much content is out there that can’t be viewed on mobile devices:

  • Infographics
  • Two-column pdf or white papers
  • Websites
  • Images and graphics

When I point this out the list of reasons can be long:

  • Our audience isn’t on mobile (Huh?)
  • They would never do that on mobile (Really?)
  • We didn’t even think about testing this on mobile. (Been there!)

The list can go on and sometimes these reasons are valid. The reality of things is that people use mobile phones for all kinds of things today. That can include content consumption and content production.

For example, I am voice dictating this post on my mobile phone, inside the WordPress app. When I’m done I will email it to my editor from my phone. That’s how I write most of my posts and well, it’s not a perfect system, it’s all on mobile. I would like to simply push the article to her to edit but email is currently the only way to do it. However, let’s circle back to content consumption. If our content can’t be consumed because it’s not viewable on mobile, or whatever device people use, what’s the point in creating it?

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The reality of things is that people use different size devices today and even if we don’t personally do that, our target audience might.

So, how do we ensure content works on all devices? It certainly can be a never ending battle and it also goes the other way towards desktops. The other day I saw a website that worked fantastically well on mobile but the way some of the features were created in the mobile-first way made them rather clunky on desktop. That wasn’t a very good experience on desktop.

It shouldn’t be mobile first or desktop first or print first anyways. It should be all relevant channels first.

Certainly, it is okay to prioritize our main channels. If people use Instagram mostly on mobile, why would Instagram ever prioritize desktop functionalities? But, as we’ve seen in 2017 more and more functionalities are actually becoming available on desktop for Instagram. Desktop users have been able to view Instagram pictures on desktop for a long time.

How do we get to a point where content is actually viewable on at least the major devices-desktop, tablets and smart phones? Here is a handy list:

  • Be aware that this is needed. For example, when creating an info graphic with a lot of text and the text is small that could lead us to the realization that that info graphic most likely won’t be viewable on a mobile phone.
  • Test. Even for desktop browsers there are many different solutions now to test. I would recommend doing that. Also test for other devices and different screen sizes.
  • Listen to the audience. Every once in a while a reader would tell me when something appears to be not working correctly and they show me. The first reaction of course is to explain why something looks the way it does but I would highly recommend against that. Listen, and then fix where necessary.
  • Remember that it’s a never ending game. What works today might not work tomorrow. Who knows what the next device that people will use will be. Keep an eye on those changes and evolve with them.

So, that’s my rant about mobile accessibility of all content. Yes, we can always zoom in but that’s not the spirit of what I’m talking about here. Let’s keep that in mind as we are creating content for all devices and for all users.

Edited by Lindsay Schwab.

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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