The Importance Of Mobile Website Design For Modern Businesses
Virtually everyone expects the businesses they interact with to not only be readily accessible via mobile, but not every business optimizes their user’s mobile experience. Not taking full advantage of mobile opportunities is a significant gap in any company’s marketing plan these days; so it only goes to follow that having a complete grasp on the essentials of mobile is:
Time Spent On Mobile Devices
Smartphone users spend an average of two hours and forty-two minutes per day on their phone – think about how many opportunities there are for your business during that time.
Common Usage And User Behavior
Furthermore, four out of five U.S. smartphone owners use their phone to help with shopping, including researching purchases on the mobile web, searching for store locations, and looking for discounts and promotions. Since you know what they are searching for based on publically available statistics along with your own analytics, give the users what they want via their mobile devices.
Identifying which of the common types of e-commerce shoppers are your core audience is also helpful. Examine their behavior and adjust your mobile presence accordingly.
Optimize Your Digital Presence For Mobile Via Responsive Design
The key to making the mobile experience seamless across the board is responsive design – this allows the mobile site or app to have a consistent appearance across the board.
Consistent fonts and spacing are important for any website or app, but particularly on mobile devices where the users have smaller screens. Other helpful elements include navigational breadcrumbs throughout your site or app (even if the user is familiar with your main website, the mobile experience can be quite different).
Being aware of the various requirements for different devices, operating systems, and mobile browsers is also equally essential. Therefore, usability testing is one step that should always be incorporated into the development process, especially given the sheer variability involved in mobile phones and tablets.
Last but not least, buttons should be well defined and large enough to tap easily, as well as being clearly separated from other tappable elements.
Essentially, be obvious but not overly (or insultingly) so.
Keep It Simple – But Not Static
One of the most common mistakes businesses make when designing for mobile is adding a ton of different features because they personally think they would be cool or useful.
And while this may indeed be true, having tons of seemingly disparate functionalities can be confusing for the end user, who don’t understand the concept of your app or mobile website nearly as well as you do. It has to be as intuitive for the average user as it is for your programming team.
Even more important, your app or site needs to be lightweight enough not to drain their battery or load too slowly – otherwise your users will click away, perhaps never to return.
That said, your mobile presence shouldn’t be static either. People are used to apps and websites in general having clear transitions, scalable images, integrating with location or GPS services, and in the case of mobile, interacting with the camera and microphone.
Understanding the fundamental principles of mobile design is the first step towards successfully developing an innovative, creative, and effective mobile presence for your business.
About the author – Hilary L. Smith is an online journalist and enjoys contributing her research to designing infographics in her free time. As a guest author for Network For Solutions, her writing often covers mobile technology, business communications, globalization, and social media. Follow her on Twitter @HilaryS33.