Successful and effective mobile website design tips
According to statistics released by Morgan Stanley, the current rate of change and adoption of all mobile devices has gathered such momentum that it is likely to be bigger and more widespread than desktop internet before 2015. These statistics are corroborated by the trends found in mobile analytics which suggest that more people than ever before are spending considerable amounts of time on the mobile web. Unfortunately, what is often ignored in all of this is the importance of mobile website design. Unless business specifically develop websites that are mobile-friendly and easy to navigate, then they are likely to miss out on the potential of mobile internet and the business benefits it can bring. So, is there anything a business can do to ensure that it meets the needs of its customers when they’re out and about? How can they ensure their mobile website design ticks all the right boxes?
Scale it down
Mobile users will be viewing your website on a much smaller screen. So, it’s obvious that you’ll have to simplify the options you offer to provide an enjoyable and satisfying user experience. You’ll need to decide what’s most important on your homepage and determine which links are vital, and then redesign the interface so that it’s suitable for handsets. It’s important to remember that just simplifying your normal site isn’t enough: it has to remain functional too. It will need to load fast, so that may mean sacrificing some of your images and power-hungry graphic applications. If the images are vital for the website, then you’ll need to cut them down to a smaller size.
Make sure you leave sufficient white space
Because the screen size is small, the importance of white space becomes more significant. Too many colour blocks may appear jumbled and confusing: this will only create an unsatisfying experience for the user. White space helps to break up the space, and lets you effectively distribute other objects around it. Of course, if you go overboard with the white space, it may look like your site isn’t loading.
Your mobile design should take its cue from your main website and use familiar colours and style cues. However your mobile version should ideally have its own theme. Optimizing your main site for mobile use is an alternative, though using a separate mobile theme is generally more beneficial, as it gives you greater control over how the visitors see the site and it allows for more optimization.
Give your users other options
You’ll have to make some sacrifices with your mobile website design, and therefore may find that this can make the user experience unsatisfactory. Because of this you may find that some of your users would prefer to visit the main site. Always give them this option. If you don’t, they’ll be stuck on a mobile site that they either don’t like, or won’t let them do what they want. Adding the option to visit the main site is easy and people generally appreciate having the choice.
In business time is money. It’s no different with the internet. Time is a precious commodity, and people guard it jealously. The Internet will only give you a limited time frame to tell the user what you’re all about. If you don’t make an impression in the first few seconds, you risk losing that user to the billions of other web pages. Place your most important content towards the top and avoid banner ads if you can. Visitors to mobile sites are already interested in the content, so it must be easy to access and peruse.
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