Site design dilemma - navigation

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by patent10021, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. patent10021, Sep 26, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012

    patent10021 macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #1
    I am choosing between two templates. I like both. One of them is a "responsive" site which means it is built for smart phones. When it detects a smart phone the menus become drop down menus you see in iOS. The other site is a normal WP theme and when viewed on a smart phone requires normal menu navigation just as you'd get on a desktop.

    Here are screen to show you what I mean.

    I can't decide if my site should be a normal WP site or be a site that detects smart phones and uses mobile menus. I don't really like those mobile menus. That's why I usually don't like using mobile versions of forums either, but maybe it's "the norm" now.

    What do you think? Keep in mind these aren't final photos/designs etc. I just want your opinion re the navigation.

    The first screen is the normal WP site. Second and third screens are the mobile WP site. The mobile site does open normally on tablets since they have more real estate.

    EDIT: In case you're wondering, I can't make a mobile and PC version because I'm not a web designer and the mobile template comes in only that mobile flavor.
     

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  2. NathanCH macrumors 65816

    NathanCH

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2007
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #2
    A responsive theme is definitely an advantage if not all your audience is viewing from a computer. Why dont you like those mobile sites? It is not easier for people on phones to access your information?
     
  3. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #3
    Well, for one, you can never see the real design of the site, only a pseudo version of it. Plus I've never liked mobile navigation options all that much. I just like the tradition menu styles but I guess that's not an issue for most.

    Here are the same sites on the PC. Take a look. What do you think?You think I should just go for the responsive version and be done with it? What do you think of them on your mobile devices?

    My friend I'm helping and I like this one the best. Since it's all ready for social networks and partner ads etc.
    http://livedemo00.template-help.com/wordpress_39909/

    This is the responsive site that although it's ready for mobile is quite plain so we'd have to do more customization.
    http://livedemo00.template-help.com/wordpress_40640/
     
  4. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #4
    That's the idea ;-) The design for a desktop browser is often not a good design for a phone browser.
     
  5. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #5
    Well ya, but when you have no idea what the actual site looks like because its a "mobile" version it seems sort of weird to me.

    Isn't that why a lot of sites give you the choice of viewing the mobile or PC version? Because they know lots of people don't like slimmed down mobile versions.

    I don't like MR's or AI's mobile offerings either even when I'm using my iPhone I use the PC version because iPhones have full browsers.

    To me, mobile versions were popular 5 years ago when phones had crappy browsers.
     
  6. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    London
    #6
    Users care about the content. Forcing the desktop site on a mobile user shows little regard for the user. Make it available if they want it, but it's a small minority of users who will explicitly choose to view a full-size site on a mobile browser.
     
  7. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #7
    So do you think I should use the responsive site then? Even if I don't have a version of the template that lets users choose the full PC version?
     
  8. bpaluzzi macrumors 6502a

    bpaluzzi

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    Sep 2, 2010
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    London
    #8
    If it were my work, yes, that's what I'd do.
     
  9. patent10021, Sep 28, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012

    patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #9
    Thanks paluzzi...btw, with WP templates is it easy to add SNS buttons anywhere I want on the page?

    Also how do I know when users will get the mobile version? For example will they get it on the Galaxy Note? iPad Mini etc. Would the code in the template be resolution dependent or device dependent?


    .
     
  10. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #10
    Situation "A"

    Use responsive theme, hire a professional UI front end web designer to customize the look/feel and responsive layouts. This is all entirely web oriented plus all code and styles are centralized and easier to maintain through the theme.

    Situation "B"

    Hire a professional app developer for mobile distribution of your content to exploit the powerful GUI and high resolution advanced theminf available in that environment. Save a little money doing a hybrid (menu system via app code, content delivery within app via web) but this is a costly solution compared to responsive web but has numerous advantages I need not list here which are obvious. Other than cost, you need time, a good developer, a solid marketing and branding scheme and of course a plan for distribution and which platforms you will support.

    General info here, a little more than what you asked. Thought others might appreciate, even if not your cup of tea.

    On a side note I obviously recommend "A" for you.
     
  11. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    #11
    The responsive WP theme is already basically finished though since it's a TemplateMonster theme. Only thing left to do is edit and customize our content. In fact we are actually removing all the sub menus since we don't need them. Keeping everything simple.

    The site will have a gallery showcasing various works/products. After everything is done we could create a free app to showcase the gallery that is on our site and use the app for other marketing purposes. Do you think creating an app showcasing the same gallery would be redundant?
     
  12. SrWebDeveloper macrumors 68000

    SrWebDeveloper

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA, USA
    #12
    There is no need for a dedicated app with all the resources, time and issues I noted for something like that if you ask me. My advice above was generic, my response here is direct to the specific content you addressed.

    On a side note, situation "A" did not recommend a specific kind of theme - sounds like you got one working for you, which is all that matters, and are able to customize without major costs or LOE. If so, that's a home run.
     
  13. patent10021 thread starter macrumors 68020

    patent10021

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    Apr 23, 2004

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