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The way of internet accessibility shifting quickly toward the mobile experience. It is simply undeniable. 48 percent of all U.S. Facebook traffic comes from mobile users, and according to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, the U.S. uses more than twice the mobile data than all of Europe. So having a good user experience with your mobile accessibility is a logical way to boost your site’s ROI.

Everyone loves pizza. Everyone orders pizza. So we have chosen to compare experiences with several national pizza chains’ mobile access for an inclusive way to view the pros and cons of responsive web design, mobile sites and native apps.

The Native App

A native app is an phone or tablet application for each user to choose, download and install on his/her device before use. Then within the app, they must learn the new navigation to achieve similar results to your website.

Two years ago, Dominos chose to enter the mobile app marketplace. The change was met with a round of applause, including a review from Forbes saying, “Domino’s is one that has figured out how to combine brand, business, and the customer experience to win on the digital frontier.”

The Pros:

User Experience – Native apps can have better UX than any other mobile optimization solution.

Accessibility and Speed – Applications can operate without an internet connection, making your information available at any time. And an app has the potential to load more quickly and smoothly.

Variety of Content – Think out of the box. Get creative. Mobile platforms with touchscreen navigation give you mass of features to work with in order to provide excellent UX.

Visibility – Once a user has installed your app on a mobile device, it stays there, showing up with its unique icon in any app menu.

The Cons:

Not Universally Accessible -Your app is built only for a particular operating system, meaning it will not operate on devices with a different OS.

Rigid Guidelines – Each application update will have to be submitted and approved by the app store, taking up to a few weeks. Many users dislike frequent updates and some will stay with the older version anyway.

Expensive – Native mobile app development is by far the most expensive solution.

Marketing and SEO – A completely different marketing strategy must be applied for your mobile app promotion and you may need help from a mobile marketing professional.

Mobile Site

Mobile websites are entirely separate websites with different URLs. Your main website can recognize mobile users and redirect them to the more small-screen-friendly mobile site before use.

Papa John’s was early to the mobile game, first implementing a texting-based pizza ordering system in 2008. Now their modern mobile site has one of the highest user experience ratings possible. Papa John’s chief marketing officer, Bob Kraut, called the pizza-making founder, John Shattner, a “visionary with an unrelenting focus on customer satisfaction,” which continues with this mobile site design.

The Pros:

User Experience – This website is specifically optimized for mobile devices by considering all of the abilities of a small touch screen, so it is possible to create a beautiful and useful UX.

Speed – Your website will load fast and easily on mobile platforms.

Cost – Building a mobile website is not the most cost-efficient option, as compared to responsive web design, but you still get a very reasonable price for the value.

Local Search Benefits – New content and new pages chosen by you mean more chances to rank on a search engine.

Immediately Accessible – Though responsive website provide the same capability, it is still an advantage over native apps, which users have to first choose to download and install before use.

The Cons:

Multiple URLs – Customers have to remember two URLs, or otherwise be redirected to the mobile website, which can take several seconds.

Maintenance – You will have to maintain two websites.

Not Compatible Universally – There are two breeds of mobile devices: touchscreen and keyboard navigation. One mobile website won’t look and work the same across different device types, which can effect UX.

Responsive Web Design

A responsive web design is your same website, but with the ability to change the size and aspect ratio based upon what size screen it is being viewed on. With a scalable design, users don’t need to scroll left and right to see everything on a page, as compared to an unresponsive website design.

Donatos launched a cleaner website, optimized to be used in any setting, this past spring. The site is a familiar view for all users no matter what device it is accessed on.’s review of the new design calls it “the first fully responsive mobile commerce sites in the restaurant industry.”

The Pros:

One Website – It’s easier to administer just one website for all devices.

One URL – One URL means users can access your site on mobile devices without needing to wait for redirects, this is particularly helpful for those with slow internet connections.

Simple SEO – You don’t need to create new content for mobile devices. Enjoy the strengths of your desktop website SEO on mobile devices, too.

Easy Marketing – Your marketing department doesn’t need extra time, budget or direction to promote your mobile website.

Low Cost – It’s easy to understand. A single website is cheaper than two.

The Cons:

One Website – Hosting and maintaining a single website may be easy for you, but it isn’t always simple for your users. Many responsive hosts find they need to place a new emphasis on the same page to maximize conversions.

Technical – Responsive web design is a relatively new technology. So older, outdated devices with old browsers will load the website too slowly or partially.

User Experience – Mobile is an entirely different experience from a desktop. So a single, responsive website may harm your UX on either or even both platforms. If you try to satisfy both mobile and desktop users with one interface, you may not be satisfying anyone.

Choosing the best option to promote your business via mobile accessibility is an important step toward providing a better user experience. We suggest considering your options with this list and visiting the websites listed, as they are all highly-rated examples of how to best take advantage of the platform they chose. Then, talk to a professional about how to increase your visibility and user experience with a mobile option.

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