Is your website user friendly on mobile devices?
The number of people accessing websites on their mobile devices has shot up over recent years. Mobile use is a trend that penetrates all markets, from the young to the elderly. People use it for a variety of reasons including consuming media online and as a communications tool among others. Yet a lot of businesses continue to ignore the importance of designing mobile websites.
How significant is mobile web?
Businesses attempting to build an online presence typically design for the desktop market. However, recent data shows that the mobile market has surpassed that of the desktop. In 2015, the number of mobile users has boomed to approximately 1,900 million while desktop users have plateaued at 1,700 million. Here we can see that mobile has shown the greatest growth in use by adults in the US:
With such a significant number of consumers using mobile devices, it would be unwise for entrepreneurs to ignore this market. A mobile-friendly website can provide better lead generation for businesses. In turn, this results in more conversions and CRO.
What does it mean to be “mobile-friendly”?
It has been reported that 60% of the world’s population use mobile as a primary source of internet searching, while 80% of general internet users look for products on their smartphones! That’s a lot of people using mobile for a transactional or commercial purposes. Mobile-friendly websites are thus essential – they’re websites primarily designed for desktop users that have been made smaller when viewed using a mobile device.
The mobile site appears and functions just like a regular website, however, desktop websites are not often designed to be viewed using a smartphone, tablet or any similar mobile device that has a small screen. As a result, visitors may expect to do a lot of scrolling, pinching or zooming when visiting these sites. Check out this great ad by Nettl that perfectly demonstrates the importance of mobile friendliness:
Mobile-friendly sites should not be confused with mobile first types. Mobile first websites are mobile sites designed primarily for the mobile market. These are designed to be viewed on smaller screens. There are businesses that have a mobile site as their primary website while their desktop site is no more than a landing page. An example is Instagram, where desktop functionalities are incredibly limited – you can ‘like’ and ‘comment’ on posts but can’t create any posts unless you’re using your phone.
Some businesses opt to go for a more responsive design. A website with a responsive design has elements that can automatically change in size depending on the type of device accessing the website.
Three Dos for Your Mobile Site
The goal is to make accessing the site more convenient for mobile device owners without compromising looks or functionality. Here are a few tips to help you create a better mobile website:
- Design the mobile site with your user in mind
Think about your target market, who your audience is, what they want or need, and how you want them to behave when accessing your website. Too much text goes ignored! They’re not reading a book, so keep it short and sweet – functionality is core for the mobile user.
- Make the text large enough
Think about the user’s experience when accessing your site. Mobile devices are several times smaller than PCs or laptops. Make sure the text and buttons on your site are large enough, have have enough space between them, for your visitors to read and click on. Calls-to-action should be easily seen and actionable.
- Build for speed
Avoid any element that could affect how quickly your pages will load on a mobile device. This means, avoid pop-up and background images and animations as these take longer to load.
A distinct feature on mobile (that’s only recently been introduced to desktop) is push notifications. These are the notifications that pop up on the screen of your mobile from an app, such as when you receive an email. Making use of this function on your mobile site means you can contact your customers directly.
However, with the push notifications becoming increasingly prevalent, that means users are also learning how to override this feature and turn them off. As a marketer, you’ll need to find the balance so as not to seem invasive to your customers.
Three Don’ts for Your Mobile Site
- Don’t ignore the importance of easy navigation
Mobile site can behave very differently from the desktop sites. When designing your mobile site, it may require different navigation design. The goal is to keep the menu short and easy to read and intuitive.
- Don’t make it exactly like your desktop website
Readability is a huge factor that often gets overlooked. Mobile devices have a much smaller screen. The text needs to be large enough for readers to consume, reducing characters per line, using colours, or images to make it reading friendly.
If your site has pop-up forms, the “x” sign needs to be large enough for visitors to close the screen if necessary.
- Don’t forget to make your call to action visible
If the goal of your website is to generate leads and sales. Your site needs to have clear call to actions that guide your visitors through, whether it’s an online purchase, enquiry, or a call.
The button needs to be visible on all pages, easy to follow, and simple enough to complete the steps. Dropdown menu or mobile text menu are good options to consider.
So all in all, mobile sites are about functionality. Make them easy to view and use, so they can get to the checkout faster or take an action to communicate with your business. It makes a difference.
YOUR NEXT STEP
What’s one thing you can take away and implement in your business? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.
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