I'm developing a website that's almost ready for release. I'm a coder, not a designer, and my designer doesn't code. So I've been basically implementing her designs myself. Everything is finally perfect, and has been tested on various browsers and mobile devices, and it all looks good...except one thing.

It looks great on mobile devices in landscape mode, but is too small in portrait mode. So my question is this: how important is it to get it working in portrait mode? I figure most users, when they see the small page, will instinctively rotate their device, but then I remembered that some people lock their orientation. So how frequently do people lock their orientation to portrait rather than landscape, and what are the reasons they might do so? These are things I need to consider before deciding if it's worth the trouble to make things work in portrait mode here.

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    The vast majority of mobile users use portrait mode. It's pretty dang important. I would very rarely turn my phone to landscape unless they forced me to (which is bad practice) Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 5:24
  • I suppose it is bad practice... I've gotten it to look, er, "okay" in portrait mode, but it looks much better in landscape. The problem is how do you display blocks of text so that they look good in portrait mode but are still large enough to read comfortably? Because the site has descriptions of user-submitted content often, and those are block text. Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 5:53
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    The only time I use my phone in landscape is if I'm watching video. So I would say it is important.
    – Cai
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 5:57
  • Same as @cai and I've rotated my desktop monitor to be in portrait and only rotate it to landscape if I'm working on a landscape orientated image or video.
    – Ryan
    Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 16:15
  • > "how do you display blocks of text so that they look good in portrait mode but are still large enough to read comfortably?" media-queries focusing on aspect ratio are your friends. Anything more specific we would need some examples. Also, this is definitely part of what your designer should be handling. (the question of 'how can we make it work well in portrait', not the technical implementation)
    – Tobl
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 10:49

1 Answer 1


It's very important, considering that more than half of users prefer to use portrait mode vs landscape mode across all apps except video players, according to a study done by the University of Stuttgart.


You can see that in the case of the web browser, users use portrait 78% of the time!

Now for anecdotal evidence, I'd be annoyed by any website or app that told me I was using my phone wrong and if it wasn't very important to me, such as in the event of casual browsing, I'd probably go somewhere else.

Edit: You also mentioned orientation locks. According to a study by the National University of Taiwan, around 80% of users across platforms who are aware of rotation lock use it.


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    Well, that answers my question quite comprehensively. Thanks! I guess I'm just the weird freak who prefers landscape for reading :P Commented Jul 2, 2016 at 16:34

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