For Mobile, Tablet and Desktop Design for mobile

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By using 'Responsive Design'; That's one Website that works well for all Devices: Smartphone, Tablet and Desktop PC.

There have been various suggestions put forward on how website owners should approach this new situation; where people are accessing the web on all kinds of different web-enabled devices. Devices with varying screen sizes, different processing power, different access methods (touch, mouse, etc), different operating systems (OS) and different Web Browsers.

Separate Mobile Website?

One suggestion has been to offer another seperate website for mobile visitors - one that is coded differently, to make it easier to use, and offers different content from the desktop version. But this isn't practical or effeicent, neither is it very 'forward-thinking'. Firstly, It would require that you, as the website owner, maintain two separate websites? And as nobody knows what kind of devices will appear over the next few years; how can you ensure your separate 'mobile' site will be flexible enough to suit all the new screen sizes, etc? Lastly, why would you deny access to content, based on what device a person is using? You may want to change content priorities, but not deny access.

BBC mobile website
BBC Sport separate mobile website

BBC Desktop website
BBC Sport standard desktop website

Mobile App?

BBC's Android App
BBC Sport Mobile App for Android

Another option often mentioned is to build a custom mobile 'app' for your mobile audience. But here again are the problems in making separate updates and the maintanence of two separate digital entities. Worse still, 'apps' are only native to a single 'platform', so you'd need an app that works with Android based mobile devices, and another to work with Apple mobile devices, then there's Blackberry... etc, etc.

Apps should be used for software applications (hence the name), not as a means to have a 'mobile version of your website'. So unless you have very specific ideas and aims, producing multiple apps, alongside your standard website, makes no sense at all. Far too much work with virtually no benefits.

Would you consider this multi-platform approach for Desktop (Windows, Linux, iOS)? Then why do it for Mobile?

The Sensible, Easy Way - Responsive Design ...

The purpose of Responsive Design is to produce just one website that works on all devices and on any screen. The underlying code allows a website to 'respond' differently on different devices, making the site easy to use for all your site's visitors. Responsive Design also allows you to easily add, remove or even rearrange sections on a page. This gives you the ability to prioritise page elements differently for different devices and different audiences.

Responsive Web Design also only uses Web based technologies so, unlike 'Mobile Apps', your website will work regardless of what device or platform your visitors might be using.

With Responsive Design Your Website Will Be:

  • Easy for you to update and maintain
  • Available on all devices and platforms
  • Flexible, allowing you to rearrange content for different devices
  • A much easier, more enjoyable experience for all your visitors

web design for mobile examples
50% of your visitor's will be using a mobile device

'Mobile-Ready' by Frieze Design

Mobile Ready is a sister website produced by Frieze Design to highlight the importance of having a website that works well on mobile devices. Please contact us if you need help making your website 'mobile ready' or if you have any questions about the topics covered here.


Terminology ...


A touch-screen based mobile phone with full access to the Web via wi-fi and 3/4G.

Smartphones also allow the user to download 'Apps' (small software applications) that add extra functionalty to the device. Major smartphone platforms include iOS (Apple), Android (Google (open source)) and Windows Surface (Microsoft).

The important point, with regards to websites, is that a Smartphone allows its owner to view your website, telephone you, email you, comment on your blog or send you a text message!


A touch-screen based device ranging in size between 7" to 10". Tablets work well as 'instant access' devices as they tend to be always on (as opposed to shutdown and boot) and are more portable than Desktop or Laptop computers. Very similar to Smartphones with regards to their capabilities and usage.

Desktop (Laptop):

Refers to a 'traditional' Desktop or Laptop PC. These usually include a full-size hardware Querty keyboard and a Mouse as a pointer device.


Downloadable software 'applications' used on Smartphones and Tablets for adding extra functionality to the device. Examples would include Email and Web Browser applications, to Games, News, or Map applications.

Each of the major operating systems (OS) used on mobile devices have their own online 'hub' for finding and installing new apps - for example 'Google Play' for Android.


Put simply, 3rd and 4th generation mobile phone network connection technologies, 4G being faster than 3G.

Mobile phones can use 3/4G to access the web, as an alternative to Wi-Fi. This makes it possible for Smartphones to access the web from almost anywhere.

Reponsive Design

A web design and development practice that allows a website to 'respond' differently, depending upon the device being used to access it.