Smartphones have become more affordable and it seems everyone is taking advantage of having full access to the web on the go. If your website isn’t mobile friendly, you’re cheating yourself and your customers. So what do you need to know about your viewers to give them the best possible mobile experience?

It is important to keep in mind mobile users are different from a desktop surfer. Take a moment and think about the reasons your website might be accessed on a mobile device. As a website owner, it’s your responsibility to adapt your website design to be mobile-friendly to help users achieve their goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Keep it Simple 

The mobile user is typically task focused.  Keep the user interface clean and direct to aid in navigation. If you have trouble visualizing what this means for your web design, use the basic information architecture you used to create your website as a jumping-off point.  Ask yourself the following:

  • What can be eliminated to create more space?
  • What is most important so it should be front and center to lead users comfortably through your website?
  • What type of information do users need on the go?

Tablets and Smartphones

Smartphones are with us everywhere we go.  We rely on them for information at an instant.  In contrast, tablets are often used in the evening as entertainment devices. If someone is at home lounging on the couch with tablet in hand,  a more immersive experience might be wanted than someone using a smartphone while out shopping.

When your website display is the size of a tablet screen, you might have free reign to develop a fascinating interface that creates a really wonderful experience for the user, but beware of trying to maintain that experience as you scale down to smartphone screen size. When people are out and about they most likely will only be visiting your site if they have a specific need in that moment. These needs are also time-sensitive. 

Optimization

Optimizing for mobile may include things like: 

  • Using icons instead of text to save space.
  • Trimming the Bloat. Select the most important things you want your viewers to see and eliminate clutter.
  • Stay away from pop-ups. Pop-ups are already super annoying on a desktop or laptop screen so image how frustrating they are when they fill up the entire screen on the viewer’s device.
  • Don’t let your font size get too small. It may be tempting with such a small screen to adjust the font to a smaller size, however 12 -14 pixels is still the optimal.

If you already know your users will often be using your website on their mobile devices, it may be optimal to design the entirety of your website with a “mobile first” mentality. This way your website on a large scale will be both minimalistic and more familiar to the user when scaled down to mobile.

Always remember to test, test and test some more. The more you test, the more likely you are to find any small bugs which will undoubtedly drive users away from your website.  Want to know how mobile responsive your website is – test it here.

Have you had success building a website that displays well on mobile devices? If your website is getting a little old and visitors aren’t sticking around, mark your calendars for August 27th and join us as we discuss Why People Hate Your Website  or see how your website stacks up: 

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