The difference between the desktop intranet and smartphone intranet

Below you can see the homepage on our new intranet, to the left in a smartphone, to the right in the desktop. (All boxes collapsed for overview.)

As you can see there is NO difference in what the user is served in functionality.

I could write an essay about the reasons for this, but others have already said it better:

Knowing the type of device the user is holding doesn’t tell you anything about the user’s intent. Knowing someone’s location doesn’t tell you anything about her goals. You can’t make assumptions about what the user wants to do simply because she has a smaller screen.
In fact, all you really know is: she has a smaller screen.
Karen McGrane; Content Strategy For Mobile

It’s important to forget an old myth. It’s the belief that content should be restricted, dumbed-down or eliminated for mobile users based on their goals and intent.
Users need and expect full functionality on their mobile device, because they could be using it anywhere, for any reason.
Drew Thomas: Why Responsive Web Design Has To Win Out

In both screenshots you are looking at exactly the same HTML source, made with RWD. The smartphone version is not a native app. This is because:

For every separate mobile version you’re building and maintaining, a separate tablet version and TV version are right around the corner.
No matter how many versions you support, if you’re using separate websites, you’re supporting too many.
Drew Thomas: Why Responsive Web Design Has To Win Out

The reason a separate mobile website is dangerous is that, in general, you want to avoid creating multiple versions of your website. It’s called forking, and it’s a forking nightmare from a maintenance perspective.
If you fork your website into separate mobile and desktop versions, then you’re stuck updating both every time there’s a change.
Karen McGrane; Content Strategy For Mobile

Here are some more arguments for RWD:

Why your agency (likely) doesn’t need a mobile app (18F, U.S. General Services Administration)

A separate mobile website? No forking way! (Karen McGrane)

We need to be device agnostic in our service offer. (Sarita Harbour, Webdesigner Depot)

Working with mobile technology (gov.uk)

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One thought on “The difference between the desktop intranet and smartphone intranet

  1. Thanks Jesper for sharing. Totally agree with you in both cases! Have never ever understood the websites that keeps things from me just because I’m using my mobile.

    New front page looking great, slim and to the point.

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