I saw a link on Twitter recently with an article I was intrigued to read. I clicked through while using my small display device (while multi-tasking at the gym) and connected to a website that was not flexible/responsive.
The title of article was a topic that I wanted to learn more about and had been promoted by the website owner in the previous week as a “coming soon” program. Additionally, the topic was something I thought would be useful as a way to connect others together and maybe create a new opportunity. Therefore, I re-sized the text best I could to be somewhat readable and pushed on.
However, on the top AND the bottom of the screen there were widget items overlaying the text that could not be dismissed. In addition to needing to scroll around to read the content, the widgets were interfering with the small amount of text I could actually read. I could gather by the volume of text in the article and the purposeful formatting that this was a serious blog post, a kick-off to a multi-faceted program. I think the website owner wanted readers to make a purchase after reading.
After trying for a bit to read and hoping the widgets would disappear after some prescribed time, I gave up.
The experience made me wonder if the website owner checked to see the display on various devices. There are several online tools available today it’s almost a shame not to quickly check on the display to see if anything is impeding the text.
I tried to put myself in the website owner’s shoes….maybe the selected social sharing widget was too hard to modify for display (or hiding) on small screens. I know that happens sometimes. A function that performs in a fantastic way and looks perfect on a big monitor or tablet can ruin the reading experience on smaller devices.
As a website owner, I could claim “nobody wants to read my stuff on a really small device anyway” and just accept the results from my visitors with larger viewing devices. It just seems to me, it would be worth my time investment to find a solution that can meet the basic needs of my prospective customers on whichever device they are using at the time they choose to consume my content.