Kudos to MCC and Lord's for recognising that their visitors/ members will likely be looking at their website on their phones as much as on computers (especially when they are at the ground).
I received an email from MCC telling me of the launch of their re-vamped website this week, and as part of this re-introduction to the new site they were, quite rightly, showing off that it was "responsive", as you can see from this excerpt from the email
2. Responsive (optimised for
The new site is responsive, which means that it will
recognise the device that you are using and display content
accordingly. We are now able to communicate more
effectively with Members and the general public on their
tablets and mobiles - and this aspect of the project is a huge
improvement. The ability to target and engage with mobile
users is key as internet usage on mobiles continue to
Intrigued by this, I had to go and have a look on my phone. And, yes, Lords.org has been built with a responsive design. And it has some nice features, such as the top menu button which drops down, pushing content down the page; having a prominent search button and being able to log in.
But I also noticed some issues. I thought at first there was a design error, as when it first loaded I had a large and glaring black space between the top of the content and the menu bar. It took a few minutes, but eventually this loaded as a photo of the ground itself.
So, I entered the URL into ready.mobi, suspicious that the site, whilst it might be responsive, is not adaptive with server side hosting and delivery of appropriate assets. Low and behold, the Ready.mobi stats show it up. The home page is well over 1.7MB in size, it scores a "2" (that's not great) for mobile optimisation; page load time of 431 seconds (that's over 7 minutes!!) on a less than optimal mobile network connection (you know, the one we mostly experience) and has 18 technical issues that could be improved upon, according to the analysis engine.
Because it took so long for the main image to load, I assume it is the same file as used on desktop, just re-sized for my phone screen, rather than my phone loading both the desktop and mobile versions of the image (when I would expect the phone image to be visibly a touch quicker).
This is not untypical, and the site is a vast improvement - and it does look lovely and work well. But it is also a very common cautionary tale that illustrates the point that just because your site is "responsive" it doesn't mean it has been "optimised" for mobile.
(And there's a further conversation that will need addressing soon: what happens if I view your site on my 40" connected TV? I am guessing all the images will pixelate horribly, because, again, the assets are a fixed size and resolution).