We all know the importance of responsive web design these days. With mobile browsing only ever being on the rise we need to give users the experience they want on the device they choose, and that means implementing a design that can adapt to different screen sizes to offer a familiar, usable experience at all times. But, what about giving users choice? Sometimes forcing a different layout on them will put them off rather than encourage them to stick around, and that’s why the choice of going back to desktop view should always be offered.
Despite RWD aiming to give users an experience that’s as familiar as possible, the layout and overall look of the mobile site is always going to differ. In many cases a lot of users will prefer this new look for the level of usability and simplicity it’s able to offer, but not all of them will be so keen. Some will find it frustrating that the site they know and love has been changed, they may not find the features easy to use or the menus simple to navigate, and if they know what they’re looking for and can’t find it they’ll soon look elsewhere. Some might not even trust that the site they’re viewing is the one they were looking for, perhaps double-checking the URL, and if they don’t trust you it could cost you sales.
But, what’ll be even more frustrating is not having the option to switch back to a more familiar view, and that’s why choice is so important. Failing to give users the option of reverting to desktop won’t win you any fans, and with a lot of tablets and smartphones effectively becoming users’ main browsing devices you need to make your site as appealing as possible. So, whilst it’s still vital to implement RWD you need to give users choice in the matter too, so make sure to provide the option of switching to desktop view and you’ll be keeping everyone happy.