Think your traditional website is good enough for mobile users? Think again! With the smartphone market rapidly growing, any business serious about selling or connecting to customers online needs to get serious about building a world-class mobile website. When people using a smartphone or tablet head to your website, they will automatically be redirected to the mobile site.
Just as there are many rules and guidelines for developing a great traditional website, there are specific guidelines for developing a mobile website. Smartphones and tablets are much different than laptops and desktops, especially in regards to navigation and screen size. You need to take these factors into consideration when designing a mobile website!
If you don’t bother creating a mobile website, you could end up losing a lot of business! More and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet and to research companies. Just like any web user, however, if they have trouble navigating your site or find it unattractive, they will quickly leave.
Let’s go over a few specific reasons you need a mobile specific website!
1. Keep Your Mobile Site Simple
Now-a-days, many companies have spectacular websites stuffed with content and effects. These sites can really draw someone’s eye when displayed on a 13 inch screen. Unfortunately, when viewed on a 4 inch mobile phone screen, that very same site can looked cluttered.
At the same time, downloading such an advanced site can take a long time and eat up bandwidth on a mobile phone. In order to attract mobile users, and to convey information, you need to create a simple mobile website. Images, banners, large amounts of text, and huge pictures should either be eliminated or kept to a minimum.
2. Create a Mobile Specific Layout
Websites are all about conveying information. When a user logs onto a website, they must be able to easily navigate the site to find the information they want. Whether it is finding a contact phone number, or looking up information on a specific product, users want to be able to access information quickly and easily.
Your regular website may be easy to navigate on a 13 inch screen with a track pad. Unfortunately, on a mobile phone, clicking links and reading text on a traditional website can be difficult. You need to design a website layout specifically for a four inch screen. Kept text minimal, and make sure it’s large enough to read. Also, make sure links are large and easy to click.
3. Keep Everything Within a Thumb’s Reach
We’ve already hit on this point, but it’s important enough to highlight again. Mobile users navigate with their thumbs, and you need to take that into account. Smartphones have “sweet spots”, which are spots that are easy for people to reach with their thumbs. You need to make sure that the most important information and buttons are in these so-called sweet spots. Unfortunately, most traditional websites don’t take this into consideration.
4. Ditch the Keyboard
Traditional websites often require extensive typing. Whether it’s typing text into a search bar, or filling out an order form, keyboards are usually one of the main ways for users to input information.
Most smartphones, however, do not have an actual keyboard, which makes typing in information cumbersome. As such, you need a mobile website that requires minimal, if any, typing. There are many ways you can reduce typing, such as using QR codes to allow people to scan items to look up information.
Yes, designing a mobile website can eat up time, money, and effort. At the end of the day, however, a well-designed mobile site can pay for itself. Increased sales and traffic from mobile users can really add up in the long run. Further, mobile phones are becoming more and more popular, so ignoring mobile users could result in alot of lost business!
What do you think?