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Here’s a joyously surprising list brought to me by Andrew Warren Payne.
The headline is entirely factually correct, these websites are not responsive. Whether they should be or not is a matter for debate, and I hope one you will take up in the comments section.
There are pros and cons of going responsive and each organisation should be aware of its own ideal site strategy. I’m sure many of our readers know the UX and hence search boost of going responsive is now growing large enough to prove worthwhile, even in the face of much development time.
See what you think of this list.
Apple doesn’t have a responsive site or a mobile site.
What does it have? Of course, there’s an app for that.
No responsive site, but a site designed specifically for mobile devices. You’ll see the desktop site does resize up to a point, text and images repositioning if you shrink your window.
For Amazon, the experience is so different on the small screen, with such an information rich desktop version it seems simpler to design a completely different content experience on mobile.
Of course, Amazon has a hugely impressive app, too, that takes up to 30% of Amazon purchases.
Not all sites should go responsive, for some it isn’t right (and this headline may have been a bit of click bait).
The advantages of responsive lie in improved usability (although a mobile site is also usable), better search rankings, including in mobile search, through single URLs for each content item (also link building doesn’t require twice the effort).
The negatives of responsive design increase in number for big sites with lots of content. The development time to go responsive is large and the content may take a long time to load up on mobile.
The beeb has been experimenting with responsive design, with its recent interactive guides to WWI. Expect to see more parts of the site become responsive over time.
But the corporation’s website isn’t fully responsive, again being a complex and large site it has a mobile site and many popular apps such as iPlayer and BBC News.
For publishers, a responsive site is helpful from a user’s perspective and hence is looked kindly upon by Google.
Again, it may be that many publishers want to compromise with a mobile site, allowing them to have lots of content on desktop, but quick load times on mobile.
Of course, more and more users will be jumping straight into articles from social sharing, which helps to mitigate some of the navigation difficulty that some publishers may face from their narrowed home page on a mobile site. A responsive site is still something for publishers to aim for in time, as long as steps are taken to reduce load time and make the user journey as simple but as flexible as possible, allowing the discovery of lots and lots of content.
Huffpo at the moment has an app and a mobile site (pictured here).
Walmart Canada introduced responsive design in November 2013 and saw a 20% increase in conversion.
Walmart USA has an app (which includes an in-store mode) and a mobile site but is not responsive as yet.
Like Amazon, perhaps Walmart is an example of a retailer that benefits more from an overhaul of the site, rather than responsively sizing and removing elements for mobile.
Yahoo News seems to respond to the device accessing content. When I resize my browser no change, but on my mobile I get a nicely resized site on the same URL.
This will require less development time than a fully responsive site but may be prone to errors on niche handsets if they’re not recognised.
China is incredibly mobile dependant but Alibaba doesn’t have a responsive site. Of course, it has the same strategy as Amazon. A mobile site and in this case a massive interstitial asking you to download the mobile app.
This is probably less annoying to users than it used to be, as more are savvy enough to know what this is and easily kill the window.
Google sites are responsive, but YouTube isn't. Given how much bandwidth videos eat up and how much content is on YouTube, this perhaps isn’t surprising. Of course, the YouTube app is bundled with most Android phones.
Carrefour, much the same as Walmart. A mobile site and the Carrefour app
Unsurprisingly similar to Amazon and Alibaba. Personally I prefer the ebay mobile site design to Amazon’s. I think the ‘download the app’ call to action is clearer and the page looks crisper and better formatted. Just a personal opinion of course, and no doubt Amazon have A/B tested the hell out of it.
In Andrew’s words, this site is included to ‘prevent hubris’. Fear not, a mobile friendly solution is in development.