As consumers increasingly turn to mobile devices to do everything from looking up local restaurants to getting directions, it’s more important than ever that your e commerce website or company/business blog be mobile-friendly. Don’t confuse this with an app. A mobile-friendly website is essentially a version of your business website that loads quickly and easily on mobile phones or tablets. Consumers have no patience today and if your site is too slow to load, too small to read or too clumsy to navigate, they won’t stick around.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A MOBILE-FRIENDLY WEBSITE?
It helps to understand what “mobile friendly” means before thinking about how it applies to your website.
A mobile friendly website is one that has been designed, developed and optimized so that each user, no matter which mobile device they are using, gets the best experience possible. To explain this further, here are some common characteristics of a mobile friendly website are simplified navigation, mobile-specific content as far as the average consumption of a mobile user comes into picture, compression of basic design elements and so on.
Having a mobile friendly website in the past was a simple perk that added value to consumers who were always on the go. Today business owners can no longer ignore the fact that we are now becoming a mobile world and it’s important that their presence is clearly visible anywhere and on anything. And since more and more sales are generated through the use of mobile devices, it’s a great loss for businesses who underestimate the importance of getting a mobile friendly website.
Enough with the intro talk. Let’s jump into the real stuff: what you need to do in order to make your business or company’s blog or website mobile-friendly. The following tips cover general guidelines as well as really specific ones as far as mobile-websites are concerned.
1. Create Content For Your Potential Visitor
Developers assume that every single bit of information present on their desktop website should be presented to the mobile viewer. Sadly, the result tends to be a highly cluttered mobile website, which is known to drive away visitors on your website. This also has another negative implication- navigation becomes frustrating. To minimize this irritation, focus on providing only the types of information your website visitors need to take action or make a decision, or include only the most important points of any story. To say it, you need to get to the point. But do keep this in mind; your core content must always remain the same, and should in no way be sacrificed for the sake of minimizing the amount of content on the mobile site.
2. Avoid pop-ups
I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me more likely to close down a website on my mobile browser than an errant popup image. Although these graphics can be useful on traditional websites in terms of capturing new subscribers and driving site conversions, they’re an absolute no-no in a mobile environment.
As you’re developing your mobile website version, make sure all popups are turned off.
3. Ditch that Flash animation
The same logic that applies to the avoidance of pop-ups in the definition of a good mobile-friendly website goes for flash animations as well. Because they have the potential to completely disrupt the user experience on mobile devices, it’s best to utilize mobile website versions that skip Flash animations completely.
4. And yes, Navigation too
An often neglected area which is starting to get more attention when it comes to responsive mobile site design is the navigation. I’m sure you understand the pros and cons of well-defined navigation and how it is going to work on your mobile website, rather than leave it up to development to define. Remember that the user must access the needed pages as quick as possible, and with minimum actions. That’s why the fewer pages stand between the user and the action he/she wants to accomplish, the better. To navigate through the website, the buttons should have enough space to prevent users from tapping the wrong button, or trying to hit a tiny button to make it work.
5. Accommodate Sufficient Whitespace
Even if you’re careful to add only the most relevant pieces of information to display in your mobile website version, the temptation still exists for most webmasters to “over design” their mobile sites by cramming in as many design elements as possible.
Keep in mind that mobile device screens are really quite small, and that adding in too many unnecessary elements can result in confusion or frustration for users who aren’t quickly able to access the information they’re looking for. You need to build your mobile site version and then eliminate at least 1-2 design elements from your chosen structure to ensure an appropriate amount of white space on the user device screen.
6. Keep The Interaction Maximum
While designing your mobile friendly site, make sure users can easily interact with your in the different ways they should be able to through a mobile and tablet. You need to look out whether all the text is displayed on the screen, are all links and buttons designed in such a way that they can click on it accurately. Additionally, your contact details should be made a priority on the mobile website as well.
7. Test your Mobile Website
You need to check how your website works on a number of mobile devices: smartphones and tablets running various platforms. Screen size is a crucial issue in any branch of mobile development. Screen size, resolution and aspect ratio may vary drastically across a range of devices available in the market these days. So you need to ensure that your site doesn’t just look good on one smartphone – it needs to render correctly on as many of these devices as possible! Some great tools for doing so are Gomez and MobiReady.
The above tips must be familiar to software designers specializing in mobile websites. But you should know them in order to recognize useful suggestions that might be given to you. After all, an approved suggestion by a professional designer may invaluably improve your mobile website, therefore improve the unique image of your business.