I was standing in line scanning Facebook on my iPhone. A page that I really enjoy shared a link to an article they just published about the overhaul on making their website mobile responsive. OOOOhhhh shiny! To read said article, I clicked on the link, launching me into the web browser mode of Facebook to read. And just like that, I ended upon a mobile landing page. I couldn’t read anything in the article at all, and instead had essentially a menu consisting of 5 pages, none of which where the blog nor any recent posts. I clicked through from Facebook to read an article on my iPhone… I want the article, not a menu!
I find businesses especially eager to “Go Mobile” often forget usability in the process. They pay for whatever makes them now a mobile friendly site, but neglect the fact that it defeats the user experience.
When should you use a mobile landing page?
Don’t get me wrong, mobile landing pages are highly useful, and I often implement them on websites that I develop. However, they are not synonymous with mobile-responsive websites.
Mobile responsive websites mean that as a user, I only have to scroll with my thumb and do not need to pinch and resize the article to a semi-reasonable readable size. Ideally your website should be mobile-responsive (I use Headway for this, which is responsive). If it’s a WordPress website, then the theme should just include mobile-responsive design). If you get some fancy theme that doesn’t include mobile-responsive design and you aren’t ready to overhaul everything, check out JetPack’s mobile theme feature or Brave New Code’s WP Touch. Both of these are plugins that don’t change anything about the theme of your site from a computer but do enable mobile responsiveness on mobile devices.
Mobile landing pages are great to use when someone actually types in yourwesite.com or when scanning a qr code. Mobile landing pages should not override your entire website. If I click on your link on Facebook, I should still be able to read the post rather than see a 5 page menu. If I get to your mobile landing page, I still want a link to see the blog and be able to get out of the landing page area to the rest of your site. To build mobile landing pages, check out MobileChief.