I’ve had a couple clients inform me that they don’t need to display their website on mobile.

How did we get to this stage, and how did they come to such moment of clarity?

Well, this is the conversation that happened.

Client: “I want to make a website like this : __ URL __”
(Proceeds to show me a very outdated website)
Me: “Ah, OK, that’s cool, any particular reason why you like this website?”
Client: “Well.. this is a website for a company in the same industry, so I thought it would be a good place to start.”
Me: “Is it a competitor?”
Client: “No.”
Me: “OK, well this layout is not necessarily an industry specific design. Plus it’s outdated.. it’s not even responsive.” (Shows what the website looks like on mobile, It’s as responsive as a block of concrete. Shows another website that responds well and displays well on mobile.) “So let’s try for something that works well on mobile. I can see that you want a clean-“
Client: “The website doesn’t need to responsive.”
Me: “Excuse me?”
Client: “Most of the visitors to the website will be old, so I don’t need a… ‘modern’ website, and they won’t be viewing the website on their phones. So I don’t need a responsive website either.”

Now, there’s a whole other discussion about “old design” that I’ll cover in another blog post, but for now, I want to talk about responsiveness.

First off, to discuss “responsiveness,” we need to think about screen sizes, right?

Plus, we need to think about “old people.”

Do your parents use smart phones?

Do your grandparents use smart phones?

What about iPads?

One of the most common fix requests I get at the office is “mobile functionality” problems. It seems that some functions don’t work on iPads and mobile phones.

I have a client that works with senior citizens, 95% of the time, it’s a user issue.

I get this request from one major client. It’s a client that manages a whole bunch of senior citizens. 95% of the time, it’s a user issue. Whenever I try it on my phone or iPad, it works. So we send them screenshots to show it works and explain that they need to check the users’ mobile devices and help them out.

Wait a minute… Does this mean…?

Yes.

Old people use mobile devices.

Not very well in… some cases, but they are all equipped with a mobile device.

I’ve even met quite a few people who claim that their smartphones are the first computer (and the first internet-capable device) they’ve owned.

I personally think that if the target user is 60+, responsiveness is actually more important, and the design should reflect the needs of the older generation. (Such as larger text for example. Not a teeny tiny pinch zoom website.)

I saw this post on Facebook the other day, and it reminded me of the strange client that I had. Which is why I’m posting this here.

There is absolutely NO justifiable reason to build a non-responsive website. If the client asks for one, I suggest explaining why they are flat out wrong, or send them a link to this page. At least you will have done your due diligence in informing the client.

And if they regret their ill-informed stubbornness later, you can give them a new quote on a new job for something that was free the first time you advised against it.

 

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Featured Photo by Pavan Trikutam on Unsplash

Concrete Photo by Neven Krcmarek on Unsplash