If you’re only just now considering creating a mobile-friendly version of your website, you’re quite late to the party but it’s better late than never. Recent reports based on statements from Google suggest that searches on mobile devices globally have now surpassed 50%, making it crucial that brands have an effective mobile website in place.
If you’ve not a clue where to start, here are 5 tips to help you avoid costly mistakes and create the best possible mobile website first time:
- Weigh up the benefits of responsive design versus building a separate mobile website. Designing or adjusting your original website so that it displays on all platforms and screen sizes is quite an easy way to tick the mobile-friendly box, but responsive design isn’t the only solution. It could actually be easier to develop a separate mobile site, although you will need to spend extra time uploading content to both.
- Make usability your top priority. A mobile website needs to be even easier to use and navigate than a desktop site, as mobile users are even more impatient to access the content they want. A streamlined, easy-to-use interface is crucial, but don’t cut out essential content in the quest for clutter-free design and navigation.
- Research other popular mobile sites. This is by far the best way to get a handle on current mobile web design trends, to figure out what works and what doesn’t. You’ll spot minimalism and simplicity of design as big trends at the moment, but not every site pulls this off successfully. Learn lessons from these sites to develop your own.
- Break down user interaction into quick, easy steps. A key example of this is a contact or enquiry form. Many users would be daunted by viewing a large form on a small screen, causing them to click away rather than scroll down. If you can simplify the form and break it down into steps, so that the user clicks through to a couple of other pages, you’ll actually find that the process is quicker and easier overall.
- Layout your content for compatibility across different platforms and devices. Research from SmartInsights revealed that the most popular devices for searching the internet were PCs and laptops (91%), smartphones (80%) and tablets (47%). However, the study also found that smart TVs, smart watches and wristbands and games consoles were all emerging devices being used for internet searches. With all of these different devices in mind, you need to ensure your content layout works for all of them. Elements such as large, easy to press buttons, legible typography, consistent branding and tiled or card layouts all work across multiple devices, as do icons replacing words such as ‘home’ or ‘contact’.
Do you have a fantastic mobile website? If so, what do you think is the real secret to its success? We love to hear our readers’ thoughts on every aspect of web design and digital marketing.