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Most sites in mobile view offer option in the footer to switch to full site view or desktop view because in mobile view some features or functions are hidden and some users might want to see the full site view to access those features. Here's an example from m.zappos.com:

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However, zappos.com also has a "Mobile Version" option on the desktop site so users can switch to mobile view.

From the UX stand point, why? What are the benefits of providing "Mobile Version" option in desktop view?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The most probable reason would simply be for the mobile users themselves. If a mobile user, whether by choice or by accident, wound up on the desktop site, it gives them an easy and clear way to change.

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I agree. Besides the SEO reason that Andrew Leach reminded me of, I think your notion that it provides a way for user to get back to mobile view is valid. Thanks! –  Chairman Meow Feb 21 at 6:10

From a UX perspective, there probably isn't a great deal of point in stretching a mobile layout on to a desktop screen. I can think of two possibilities to provide a mobile-site link:

  1. It increases the visibility of the mobile site itself. The user may not know there is an optimised version they can use on a mobile device, and knowing that may encourage them to try it. Any use of the site increases the chances of buying something.

  2. The user might be using a deficient desktop browser which would suit a simplified site layout better. (This would be a UX reason, I suppose, but I'm sure it's secondary to number 1.)

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Since the mobile version link is down in the footer, I doubt user will see it. However, +1 for reminding me that although user might not see it, search bot will and I think SEO is one good reason (albeit not related to UX) why some sites have it linked. –  Chairman Meow Feb 21 at 6:08

From my personal experience.

Message Mobile->desktop

  • A user on a mobile website send you a link, or tweet a link to a page.
  • You are on on desktop you click the link which open to the mobile website. if you are lucky the web site provide a go to desktop => win, unless you have big letter not very good layout but readable.

Message desktop to mobile

  • A user on desktop website send you a link or tweet
  • You open to your mobile and can't read anything because of menu/adds/page layout... you play a little with the zoom, you scroll and move to read end of sentences. Experience is painful. If you have a popup with please download our app it will become really painful, if you have a link to mobile version => Win.
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You need to ask yourself: what are the benefits to send my users to mobile version? is it really worth it?

Your mobile version answer with a specific device technology?, ex. feature phones, in most cases the mobile version it's just for specific/fast tasks/objectives

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