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Mobile Web Focus for Corporates in 2013, says Bowen Craggs Analyst

Kirsty Styles

81 per cent of companies hope to have a mobile-optimised site up and running in 2013, while only 46 per cent will have developed an app, according to a survey by Bowen Craggs & Company. 87 per cent said that a mobile-optimised site was now a higher corporate communications priority.

Responsive sites, as opposed to a dedicated mobile site, were the preferred platform among the 68 web managers surveyed, with 53 per cent planning to launch one in the next 12 months, compared to 33 per cent that want an

The increase in mobile network coverage, the removal of the need for a download from occasional mobile visitors and the cost of developing apps for multiple platforms were the top three most attractive reasons to create a site over an app.

35 per cent of these companies already have a corporate app, while 29 per cent have a mobile-optimised site. Of those, 19 per cent have a separate mobile site, compared to 10 per cent that use responsive design. While mobile sites can be tailored well for mobile users based on the company’s main website, and responsive sites mean only one site needs to be maintained,, Scott Payton, senior analyst at Bowen Craggs & Company advocates a ‘third way’.

'Responsive bandwagon'
He said: “Corporate websites are not as easy to get right using responsive design as news sites because they have a broader remit and more varied content. It is also more difficult to create a responsive site that serves a corporate site’s entire audience well, with all levels of content, on all sizes of screen.

The current generation of responsive sites, he said, are often fiddly to use on small screens and can be too content-heavy. “For me, the benefits of responsive design within a corporate website will only be realised if it is used to deliver completely new navigation menus, layouts and – where appropriate – content tailored to different devices. Web designers call this ‘adaptive design’. By taking this ‘adaptive’ approach, web managers can tailor the corporate site so it doesn’t just look good on different screen sizes, but also works as effectively as it possibly can on different devices.
"The ‘responsive’ bandwagon may be gathering pace, but I suspect that our survey of web managers this time next year will see the ‘adaptive’ one gaining the most traction."

Bowen Craggs & Co is a web performance consultancy.