Dec 08, 2014 By: frogdog

Mobile Websites: Design Tips You Need to Know

The mobile Web makes sites optimized for devices a must. But is your mobile site giving visitors what they need—and what you want them to see?

Let’s face it: These days, everyone is glued to a cell phone.

For the 1.75 billion people with smartphones, interactions with companies and brands happen increasingly through mobile websites and apps. With such a large section of the consumer market tied to mobile devices, making a mobile-optimized website part of your marketing plan is a must.

While you might know the best practices for building computer-accessed websites, good mobile website design has significant differences. After all, usability on a mobile device isn’t the same as usability on a computer.

SIMPLIFY CONTENT

When creating a mobile site, your first instinct might be to make a scaled-down version of the computer-accessed website you already have. Think again. This tactic will give you an end product that is overcrowded, hard to use, and ultimately off-putting to visitors.

Instead, simplify your mobile site:

  • Summarize Content: On devices, visitors quickly skim text for highlights. Edit your content down to the most important information—details that serve your marketing goals for the site and nothing more.
  • Shorten Titles: Long titles take up valuable space on a small screen. When translating your current website to a mobile format, think about ways to convey a similar idea with fewer words.

Side note: As mobile sites reduce the amount of content available to visitors, provide a link to your full site on your mobile site. This way, if a visitor needs more in-depth information, he can easily access it.

MINIMIZE LOAD TIME

Nothing puts off users more than waiting for webpages to load. Your users expect instant access to information they want. Failing to make your site easily accessible will almost surely drive traffic away.

Keep these things in mind to minimize your mobile site’s load time:

  • Eliminate Large Images: Reduce the size of the images on your site or consider getting rid of them. Evaluate whether the image contributes enough to your site to warrant the additional load time.
  • Do Not Use Flash—Ever: Not only does Flash dramatically increase load time, it won’t even work on most smartphones.
  • Avoid Linking to Other Pages: On computer-accessed websites, linking to other pages is a plus, as links pull visitors through to different parts of your website. On a mobile site, links to other pages add page-load time, increasing the number of seconds it takes users to get the information they want.

OPTIMIZE FOR TOUCH SCREENS

Most of today’s mobile devices use touch screens. Fingers are not as precise as mouse pointers, so make buttons large enough for easy mobile clicking.

Also, most devices today zoom in on a section of the webpage if users click into text-entry areas. Put labels above text areas’ corresponding fields, instead of to the left of them. This helps make field labels visible when visitors enter text.

Remember, the easier your mobile site is to use, the more your users will want to come back. These helpful hints will help your mobile site stand out from the crowd.

Posted: Dec 08, 2014
Updated: Oct 09, 2019