It’s cheap but degrading to reuse content and design across diverging media forms like print vs. online or desktop vs. mobile. Superior UX requires tight platform integration.
When it comes to user experience strategy, there are two opposing schools:
- Repurposing: make as few designs as possible — preferably only one — and reuse the same material across as many platforms as possible.
- Platform optimization: design different user interfaces for each main platform, integrating the user experience layers as tightly as possible.
Repurposing has huge cost advantages. Most of the work must be done only once. But on most platforms, the outcome tends to be a substandard user experience. This is particularly true if the design was initially optimized for one platform and later ported onto other platforms with minimal changes.
When considering mobile phones vs. desktop computers, the platform differences are great enough that the benefits of creating two separate designs are substantial. Furthermore, both platforms have many wealthy users, so the profits from maximizing conversion rates can be considerable.
Still, the question remains whether the cost–benefit analysis truly supports two sites, or whether it would be more profitable to stick with a single site.