Most businesses will have up to 33% of customers viewing their website on a phone by the end of this year. This trend has prompted us to offer responsive design as a standard for all of our projects. In fact, our last 7 websites have all been mobile friendly using a responsive framework. Now, there are lots of different ways to build a mobile-friendly website and responsive is just one of them, but it is the method recommended by Google.
But just how leading edge is mobile friendliness, and how many of the big brands support it? It just so happens that I’ve been browsing vehicle websites recently – from my couch, on my smartphone. I was surprised how few of them offer customers a true mobile experience.
I found the results interesting, with only 7/13 of the sites I checked offering a decent mobile experience. Just thought I’d share my experience!
Chrysler Brands (Jeep, Dodge, Chrysler)
While the parent chryslercanada.ca website is not mobile friendly, the specific brand sites do redirect to a mobile specific site that is snappy and easy to use. The brand sites are all functionally copies of each other with the logos and cars changed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The sites were easy to navigate and were all easily browsed.
Toyota.ca redirects to a very nice mobile friendly version that’s chock full of functionality and does a great job of offering more user options on their mobile homepage. Probably the best mobile experience of the whole bunch.
What happened here? Lexus is a Toyota brand, yet here we are on lexus.ca with no mobile friendly site. You’d think their luxury brand would get the luxury mobile treatment, but here they’re treating their customers like paupers.
Subaru’s site comes right out of the gates asking for your location. It’s actually a good thing, as subaru.ca uses it to get their dealer locator to instantly show you the closest dealer without having to punch in a postal code, which can be very frustrating on a mobile device keyboard. Subaru’s site felt a bit uglier than some of the better done mobile sites. It seems like it was designed for a smaller screen size than what today’s devices offer.
Mitsubishi-motors.ca offers no mobile specific website, only offering the regular one where you have to zoom in and out and scroll around to try to find information.
Ford.ca comes with a mobile friendly version that plays it safe with nice chunky buttons for those button mashers out there. Their vehicle category view offers a decent amount of information in a great format.
GM.ca does feature a mobile version, but it looks like it was designed for an old Nokia screen, not an iPhone or Android smartphone that most mobile users are using to browse the web these days. Images are low resolution, fonts are too small and look ridiculous when the rest of the site sizes out to a modern smartphone screensize.
BMW.ca redirects over to “mcloud.bmw.ca”, which sounds like you’re heading off to a heavenly usable mobile site, but the reality is a lot worse. While it’s mobile friendly-ish, it wastes a lot of space needlessly and the formatting is kind of all over the place.
The world’s biggest car manufacturer, Honda, also suffers from old design rules by redesigning their mobile honda.ca site for the smaller screensizes of yester-year. I did notice that the information they offered seemed better organized and easier to dive into compared to some of the others.
An epic fail for kia.ca where there is no mobile friendly version and the homepage has a big ol’ flash banner in the middle. A total non-starter on mobile devices like the iPhone or iPad that don’t support Flash devices.
Didn’t detect my first browser as mobile, so I had to switch to another before I found their mobile website at nissan.ca. Not a terrible mobile site, but not fantastic either. I was pretty impressed when I got to an end vehicle and their 360 degree vehicle rotating view WORKED on my phone. That was pretty impressive.
Hyundai offers no mobile version and the desktop hyundaicanada.com version is excruciating to browse on a mobile device, including the big bad flash banner on their homepage that, as I mentioned before, won’t work on Apple mobile devices.
Mazda.ca comes with an OK mobile version. The images are lower resolution and that takes away from it a bit when you view it on a high quality screen. The information available was OK.