Why Your Organization Needs an Adaptive Website

No matter what size your organization is, it’s time to take a good look at your website. Sure, your site might look great on a desktop or laptop computer screen. But how does it look on all of the different sizes of screens found on today’s wide variety of tablets and smart phones? Chances are the answer is “not good.” That’s why all companies need to make their site adaptive.

To get a better idea of why a traditionally designed website doesn’t work for mobile devices, try this little experiment. Using a laptop or desktop, go to your company’s website. Depending on the size of your screen, the website will either fill the entire screen or there will be a border on the right and left side.

Using your mouse arrow, grab the bottom right corner of the browser window for your website. Drag it from the right to the left diagonally up and start making the window smaller. If your website is not adaptive, you’ll see that all you’re really doing is covering things up. And as soon as the window gets smaller than the pre-defined width of the site, you’ll see scrollbars appear on the right and bottom. Now the only way to move around on the page is to scroll.

Keep making the window smaller until it’s about the size of a smart phone screen. How does it look? You’ll see that it doesn’t look good at all. As a matter of fact, it’s probably not useful either.

If your website was adaptive, as you move that window and make it smaller, the text would automatically reformat and the pictures would move accordingly to fit the smaller screen size. The menu would also adapt and change so your website and content would work on any device.

That last point is important, because not all smart phones have the same size screen. An Android screen is different from an iPhone screen, which is different from a Blackberry screen. Even tablets have different size screens. So if you don’t have an adaptive site, the person viewing your site on their tablet or smart phone will end up having to scroll somehow, somewhere, because of the wide variety of screen sizes.

To see a real example of how an adaptive site would look, go to my website at burrus.com. Other site examples include: calebogden.comowltastic.com and thinkvitamin.com. Visit any of those sites and give them a try. View them on your laptop first and shrink the browser window as described earlier and notice how the site changes to fit any size screen. Now try them on your tablet or smart phone. Regardless of screen size, they will all look great. The good news is that any website developer can do this once they understand the concept!

So go back to whoever designed your current site and have them make it adaptive. The time to create an adaptive site is now!

Daniel Burrus