7 Tips For A Mobile-Friendly Website
So What About Responsive Design Anyway?
So you’ve got a mobile-friendly website? BFD.
In the age of cell phones, tablets, and Mobilegeddon, having a mobile-friendly website is no longer a suggestion, it’s essential. The first, and the most obvious, place to start is with a responsive website design. But, if you want to remain in the good graces of the Google Gods and your visitors, think beyond how it looks. Think about how it works.
Your mobile users expect the same awesome web experiences as your desktop users. However, responsive websites don’t have deluxe user experience automatically built in. Some aspects of mobile sites have nothing to do with the actual responsive design of your site, but they definitely should not be overlooked.
Here are 7 tips to consider alongside responsive design to provide quality user experience for your mobile site.
Know What Mobile Means for Your Users
If there is only one lesson you take away, it should be this: It’s about people, not devices. Before you plan anything, consider what mobile means to your users. Why are people visiting your site? Are they are looking for quick information on the go—contact information, location or online reviews? Find out what is important to your mobile users, then make it readily available.
Use Intuitive Navigation and Menus
Once you discover what information is relevant to your users, establish a intuitive communication flow. Don’t clutter up their already-small screens with tons of multi-level menus and complex navigation. Instead, offer clear, distinguishable paths by creating concise categories for your content to rest in.
Design for Touch
Avoid small buttons at all costs. Nearly all points of interaction happen with a touch or swipe from our less-than-precise fingertips. The general rule of thumb—pun intended—is to create buttons that are at least 44 x 44 pixels. Anything smaller could make it difficult and frustrating for the user.
Everything from font type, size, and color affects the readability of your mobile site. The sad truth is that custom typography may not be the best option for mobile viewers. Small, hard to read texts on small screens are never fun. Consider using standard, sans serif fonts on mobile devices with a font size of at least 16 px or 12 pt. Experts also argue that a dark gray, not black, is the color choice for mobile fonts.
Odds are, if users are on your website they aren’t there to read your memoirs. They want quick, easy to digest information. Think snack-able. Headlines should be concise, yet compelling to give the reader an excellent user experience.
Go Easy on the Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But a thousand pictures on your mobile site could actually do more harm than good. It’s not only cumbersome for users, but too many pictures can also slow down your page’s loading speed. So while photos are great visual elements, just be mindful when selecting them for your mobile site.
Optimize for Speed
Mobile users have a need for speed. Nearly half of all mobile users expect pages to load in 2 seconds or less. If load times are any longer, you risk loosing about 40% of users. To ensure a fast site, make sure all content, whether visual or text-based is optimized for mobile.
Building a truly mobile-friendly website is not dependent upon responsive design alone, but rather thoughtful websites designers and developers that elevate your mobile site through rich mobile user experiences. Let us show you how.