24 Feb 2013

What is “Responsive”? It’s the ability of a website to resize to the specific size of screen that any device has.  Whether that be a large computer screen for full size viewing, an IPad, an IPhone, or a Blackberry.

I’m 23 years old.  I’m walking around downtown Revelstoke on vacation looking for a cool spot to hang out.  I might be looking for a place to stay or have coffee, or my skis broke at the hill and I want the best service.  I take out my trusty IPhone.  I have no idea really, how big Revelstoke is or where things are.  Main street is only a couple blocks long and it’s obvious that I am downtown but what if the shop I want to get to is a couple blocks off main street?  What if I’m having trouble finding where I’m going because the awesome place I’m going is having signage issues with the city?

Here’s a little tidbit- websites don’t need permission from anyone.  They contain whatever information we want to present as a public representation of our company.    Younger people don’t look things up in phone books anymore.  Personally, a phone book comes to my doorstep and I immediately recycle it if I can’t catch the person who is trying to deliver it to say I don’t want one.  Literally, the time that I spend looking through the phone book is a waste.  Everything is so quickly at our fingertips these days that anything taking an extra second or two is discarded as a useless process.  The efficiency of our lives is increasing incrementally everyday and if your information isn’t easily found by mobile device, you may be overlooked.

Here are a couple scenarios in the typical busy person’s life:

I’m lost: I use my IPhone google maps function.

I want to get to a coffee shop: I google “coffee shop Revelstoke” on my IPhone while I’m standing in the street if I don’t see one in front of me.

I hear that there’s a great second hand book shop in Revelstoke somewhere: I google “book store Revelstoke” on my IPhone and map my current location to that of the address that I find.

I’m wasting time at a coffee shop waiting for my Americano: I surf Facebook looking for something to entertain myself with.  Get Rad Revelstoke just posted a new article.  The site is responsive, so I read it while I’m waiting.  I decide it’s super cool, so I look it up later on my computer to have a better look at the pictures.

I came to town and I got trapped here because the pass is closed:  Where do I stay?  Let me get my IPhone out and google “hotels Revelstoke”.  I’ll phone and check if there are any rooms.  Wow, thanks IPhone, just saved me pulling someone over and asking them while they’re walking down the street.  Chances of that working: 30%, they’re probably a tourist too.

I’m having trouble finding contact information and yet again downtown with no access to a computer: I look up the contact information on your responsive website and a)give you a call using the number I find.  I touch the number right on the screen because IPhone is smart, it knows that’s a phone number.  It pops up and says “Call (insert phone number here)?” Why yes please.  b)email the owner of the shop while I’m waiting for my latte.  I have an unexpected 5 minutes because my friend is late.  I touch the email address and my email app comes up on my IPhone and I start writing a short message and attach a picture.  They asked for the picture weeks ago, may as well get it done now, I have time… I’m so busy.

That’s the thing.  Everyone is busy.  No one has time to waste anymore.  If your website isn’t viewable by IPhone easily, you risk losing that new customer that doesn’t frequent the shop.  Let’s face it, there’s 8000 people here but if you own a business that competes for the tourist traffic seasonally, they need to know where you are, how to get ahold of you to ask questions, and they need to be interested in your business.  Hopefully your reputation speaks for itself but that doesn’t matter if they can’t find you.

By the way!  Do the environment a favor!  Opt out of receiving a Yellow Pages.