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We're developing a mobile site for an existing large desktop site. The first implementation is a "Mobile MVP", so not all pages are implemented on the mobile site, and sometimes we are just forced to redirect the user to the relevant desktop page.

My question is, should we warn the user before leaving the mobile website as a result of e.g. clicking a link to some page that is not mobile-optimized? Or should we just continue as normal?

  • Does it involve a significant increase in bandwidth required? Then, maybe. Else no, it'd be rather nagging. – Lucian Davidescu Aug 11 '16 at 12:29
  • mobile pages are around 600KB and 7s to load, desktop page is 2.1MB and 27s to load (speeds for regular 3G connection). – mik01aj Aug 11 '16 at 13:08
  • So is this going to be a native mobile App? – SteveD Aug 11 '16 at 13:24
  • @SteveD maybe. How does this relate to my question? – mik01aj Aug 11 '16 at 22:24
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I don't think you need to alert the user in any significant way - for example, throwing a dialog with a "Continue Yes/No" option might be a little more of a blocker than is comfortable if this is going to happen frequently on the site. I agree that bandwidth might be a consideration, but probably not a game changer if someone wants to interact with your site.

You could throw some kind of message on the home page letting people know what to expect while you are under renovation, but I don't know if it's worth it. Are these actual redirects from what will be a mobile page to what is now a desktop page, or is it simply that the desktop page is not yet re-designed as responsive? You might consider a responsive redesign of the whole site rather than two separate sets of pages, if that's what I am understanding - a single responsive site will be more work up front, but easier maintenance down the line.

  • Our desktop site is based on really old code, so we don't want to build on top of it. The Mobile MVP will be a base for a future responsive site, but for now it's mobile only. – mik01aj Aug 11 '16 at 13:05
  • While a dedicated "Continue Yes/No?" dialog may be OTT, if there are any existing dialogs/pop-ups etc. immediately before the switch, it might be feasible putting a "(switches to desktop mode)" type message. – TripeHound Aug 11 '16 at 15:55
  • That's not a bad idea, if there's something to piggyback off of. But I would definitely not introduce any new obstacles into the workflow. – Mattynabib Aug 11 '16 at 17:49

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