Offer content and options to users on all devices

Estimated read time: 2 minutes

While I was surfing the web on my iPhone I stumbled across this note on a site:

To comment please visit the full site.

I appreciate the honesty and even the difficulty of offering all services on all devices. But will anyone actually do this to comment? Why isn’t that function available on mobile?

So how do we get to offering all relevant content on all devices? Of course, it should be formatted in the most user-friendly way … on all devices.

First off: I don’t believe that mobile users should get a light version of a website just because somebody at some point may have thought that people only use their phones to look up directions or phone numbers. People use their mobile devices everywhere and for anything now.

So how can we make sure people get what they want … or might want (once they know it’s there)?

Some ideas:

1) Define your content strategy. What do you share with the public and why?

2) Get decision makers’ buy-in that you want to reach people no matter what devices they use.

3) Watch your analytics. Where are people actually coming from? What device do they use? What are they doing once they get to your site? What devices are they using?

4) Find a good developer that can help you get there. If you have a self-hosted WordPress site there are plenty of developers out there that can help you. You could also start with an out-of-the-box responsive theme.

5) Test, test, test and keep watching user behavior. Then adjust your site. Let’s say you see a trend that mobile users do indeed look for different sections of your site when compared to desktop site users. Respond by perhaps highlighting that section differently on mobile. But, that doesn’t mean to eliminate the other sections.

6) Use technology that works on all devices. Or at least strive for this. At the least this means: Don’t use flash, which does not work on iPads and iPhones. If you have videos I would suggest YouTube since those videos – even when embedded – work on most devices. WordPress also now allows direct uploads of videos. Those work on mobile, too.

In a nutshell, if something is a big part of your strategy I think it should be available on all devices. If commenting is important it’s probably not very user friendly to ask them to switch to a desktop. They may not even have one.

Let’s make it easy for the end user. If we can offer a good user experience with relevant content we can build our audience, gain customers and build a community.