A recent chat with Ethan Marcotte and Scott Jehl about how they’re handling switching between desktop and mobile views led to an epiphany about mobile web and our comfort with it.
We all agreed that when a mobile web site is well-designed and contains all of the functionality needed, the need to switch to the desktop site goes away.
However, as users of sites, we don’t like it when the link to the desktop version isn’t present. Providing a link to switch to the desktop view is a safety blanket for both developers and users.
As users, we don’t want to see others remove the link to switch to the desktop site because we don’t yet trust people to create mobile web experiences that contain everything we need.
As a developers, mobile is still new enough that we’re not 100% confident that we’ve thought of everything. In some cases, we know that there are aspects of a site that could not be converted to mobile for some insurmountable reason.
The existence of desktop toggle is good test for when our industry has really nailed mobile. When we collectively feel the toggles are unnecessary in most cases, then we’ll know that we as web practitioners have raised the collective knowledge and skill set sufficiently.
We’ll know the mobile web is ready when links to the desktop version disappear.