Everyone uses their phone to surf the internet. This is a given and it is now the primary device people use online. Therefore, this is essential for businesses to think about having a mobile-friendly website to make it easy and accessible for your customers to reach you. Remember that just because your website can be viewed on a mobile device doesn’t make it mobile-friendly. Here are 10 tips for creating a mobile-friendly website or “optimized for mobile”:
1. Be responsive.
Use a responsive design. What this means is having a website that will be easily viewable on different size of devices – that elements on a large monitor are spaced just as well as they would be on a tablet or phone. This allows you to create a similar experience for the user no matter how they’re accessing the site (desktop, tablet or smartphone).
2. Think with your thumb/index finger.
Make sure your site is navigable with their “phone hand” without the use of a second hand. Most users visiting a mobile website will be using a touchscreen so ensure that the buttons and menu navigation are big enough for easy access. It also reduces the chances that the user will miss it or hit the wrong button. For example, Apple requires button sizes to be at least 44px by 44px.
3. Keep the design simple.
A clean and simple design can go a long way – it helps focus and convey who you are as a company. Too many graphics, copy or video can hinder the page’s ability to load faster and can distract from the message.
4. Make your page faster by having images and videos that are optimized for mobile.
Make sure you have smaller size videos and mobile friendly (smaller) images for your website. When you consider mobile, some are still operating slower or lagging behind in download speeds so the less you can clutter this, the better. Plus they will be showing up on a smaller screen so you don’t need them to be large file sizes.
5. Use Icons.
To keep your site from looking cluttered, use conventional mobile icons rather than words for certain actions, such as to call, connect socially, or find the menu. These symbols also let the users know that your site is optimized for mobile.
6. Keep content short and sweet.
Go easy on the text. As the screen on mobile is smaller than desktop, minimize the amount of text on your mobile website. Mobile users like to scroll quickly so only include essential content to keep their attention. It’s all about figuring out how to tell your story with fewer words and not making the site look too cluttered.
7. Consider geolocation.
Businesses should utilize the geolocation function on their mobile-friendly website. Geolocation gives directions, offer targeted promotions (eg: just for the stores in Edmonton, for example), offer online shoppers prices in their local currency, allows users to check in-store availability at their nearest store, and allow them to connect to social communities such as Yelp.
8. Add video but do it in a smart way.
Customers on mobile devices are more likely to watch videos than laptop/desktop computer users. Therefore, it would be a missed opportunity if you didn’t include video. The caution is that if you do this, ensure that it can be played and compatible on most mobile devices.
9. Don’t constrain your user’s mobile experience.
Some people still prefer the full site experience and if they do, why constrain them from experiencing it? Always include a “go to the full website” or “view desktop version” option at the bottom of your site. The last thing you want to do is lose a potential customer because you stopped them from experiencing the full site.
10. Test to ensure your content can be properly viewed on different devices, platforms, and operating systems. And never stop testing.
Not only should you test the website on different devices, remember that the user experience includes different operating systems, and platforms too. Test to improve the overall site experience with usability testing. When you do this, test every page, user action, buttons, etc. Put yourself in the position of the user. Once the website is done, continually test it when you add new content or make changes to the website.
Follow these 10 beginner tips to ensure that you have a website that is mobile-friendly!