So you are getting ready to design a mobile website but you aren’t sure where to start. You are probably wondering: What content should I have? What phone do I design for? How can I get traffic to my site? How do I make sure it is user friendly?
Here are 5 Key Considerations for Designing a Mobile Website:
1. Design for the mobile user
Duh, right? But you would be surprised by how many people think having a mobile website is just getting your regular site to work on a mobile phone. Not the case. You need to design for the user on the go. This starts by recognizing when someone is accessing your site from a mobile device and automatically redirecting them to your mobile-optimized site (MoFuse does this for you.) Now, at least they are starting in the place where content has been designed for the on-to-go visitor. Next, think about what content this mobile user wants fast and easy access to. Do they want to:
- Find your physical location?
- Read breaking news?
- Comparison shop for a considered purchase?
- Call your business? Send you a text?
- Find out your hours of operation?
- Access a menu?
- Make a reservation?
- Check sports scores?
- Receive a coupon?
- Check out photos from your latest event?
- Donate to your charity?
- Make a purchase?
Knowing what your customers want will drive the content you put front and center on your mobile site. Remember, most mobile users visit only three to four pages on the average mobile site so make sure your information is easy to find. They also won’t tolerate waiting more than four seconds for a page to load so avoid any slow loading graphics. And don’t forget, some visitors may want more information — so be sure to include a link back to your full site.
3. Design for two thumbs
Mobile devices have difficult input mechanisms like tiny keys or small touch screens. Don’t make your visitors struggle.
- If you can give them 1-click-to-call, then do it
- Avoid convoluted paths to get to essential information and don’t nest pages of information unnecessarily
- Don’t make visitors scroll down more than three times or visit more than four pages
- Keep your call-to-action before above and below the content for constant visibility.
- Use data capture forms but keep them short and use drop-down fields or radio buttons
4. Design for the widest reach
Yes, smartphones now outnumber feature phones, but there are still approximately 5200 different mobile devices out there that you need to worry about. The good news is, most phones share three common screen widths, however tablets range from 9.7 inches down to around 4 inches. The easiest way to overcome this hurdle? Using a platform like MoFuse to auto optimize by device.
5. Stay social
Think about this, 36 percent of all email is opened on a mobile phone (Knotice) and people spend more time accessing social networks from mobile devices then desktops (ComScore). Mobile devices have become completely integrated into our lifestyles. You need to make sure that your content can be easily shared and is connected with a mobile lifestyle. For example:
- Include social sharing buttons on all your mobile content including photos, news, storefronts, events, and more
- Offer sharing via Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS and social networks used by your audience
- Make your site dynamic with Twitter feeds, videos, blogs, images, and more
- Integrate touch points between the physical and the mobile world by including QR codes on advertising, menus, signage, and physical goods