NPS.gov is mobile-friendly! What does that mean? Mobile-friendly websites function well on the wide variety of devices, browsers, and network speeds used by visitors to access web content. The approach we've taken to accomplish that goal is known as Responsive Web Design (RWD). Instead of having separate websites for each type of device, RWD features a more fluid design that adapts to a wide range of devices.
Prior to this project, visitors accessing NPS.gov on mobile devices (more than half of our website visitors) saw a smaller version of the website scaled to fit the size of their screen. Now the content adjusts to fit small screens while providing the same functionality available to those visiting the site using a desktop or laptop. These changes provide a user-friendly experience no matter what device people have—and with more than 90 million visitors on NPS.gov over the past year, that's a lot of different devices!
Going responsive has other benefits, too. Mobile-friendly sites:
- Improve usability on NPS.gov for audiences whose only Internet access is through mobile devices
- Appear higher in web searches on those search engines that factor mobile friendliness when displaying results (see image of sample search results for Agate Fossils Beds National Monument)
- Use the same web design code for all NPS.gov sites using the NPS content management system (the "CMS" is the system web authors use to manage NPS websites), rather than having different code for desktops/laptops and for mobile devices
- Improve speed and performance for visitors
- Are ready for whatever devices come in the future