No matter what you’re doing online, you need a mobile website. It’s no longer an added bonus but a necessity. The number of mobile users grows every year and the desktop computer may eventually become a thing of the past. However, when it comes to designing your mobile site, there are some key differences from designing for a large monitor. If you don’t follow these rules, your site may be chasing away mobile users and losing you business.
The biggest difference is that screens are smaller. This is something you must keep in mind when considering all of your design features. Also, mobile users are generally searching for more specific information than desktop users. Here are some of the common problems sites have when it comes to keeping their mobile visitors on their sites.
Too Much Going on
Have you ever tried to look at a busy, complex website on a tiny smartphone screen? It’s exasperating. If a site is too complicated or stuffed with too much content, it’ll drive mobile traffic away. Your site should be clean and simple. The most important information should be prominently displayed as close to the top as possible so people will see it quickly.
Navigation for mobile users should be easy as well. All of your website’s pages should be no more than one or two clicks away from the front page. It should be obvious to your visitors where they’ll end up when they click somewhere. Make it intuitive and don’t make them guess where they might go.
No Zooming or Scrolling
If mobile users have to zoom to read anything, this means your text is too small. If they have to scroll from side to side, they won’t bother. Websites optimized for mobile devices should present information in rows. Everything you want them to see should be easily visible immediately, especially contact information and links.
Don’t make users type too much. If you’ve got a sign-up form, make it as simple as possible with just a few fields to fill out. Even better, use QR codes. These are modern-day bar codes. When they scan the code with their phone, it automatically takes the action for them (for example, signing them up to your list).
Short Load Time
Your site needs to have a very fast load time. Don’t put any big or high-resolution pictures on your site that will slow it down. Also, make sure you don’t have anything that’s auto-play or auto-load. Use the slimmest files possible. Mobile users don’t have the patience to stand around waitingyou’re your site to come up.
I’m All Thumbs
It’s good to consider touch screens when designing your site, especially since many phones are all touch and no buttons. Put your clickable ‘buttons’ in places on the page where they’re easy to tap with a thumb. There’s some disagreement about where the sweet spots are, but you can discover them yourself by split-testing. Experiment with a couple of designs and see which gets better results.
The best way to see if your site is good for mobile devices is to test it out. View it on several different phones and see how it looks. How easy is it to navigate? Again, remember that mobile users have even shorter attention spans than desktop users and everything needs to be easy to see and touch.