Make your mobile website functional, not frustrating
Stop me if you’ve heard this before: More people are accessing the internet on mobile devices than ever before.
As a result, mobile website design has become a critical part of website functionality. Some of the things that work on desktop design don’t translate well to small screens.
As your site transitions to mobile, keep your antennae up for these functionality pitfalls so it works well for all of your visitors, no matter which device they are browsing on.
1. Too much information
Designing your website to responsively adapt to different devices is the most seamless way to retain site functionality in a mobile-first world. That’s the thing to do when building a new site. Owners of existing sites may choose to build a mobile-specific version of their site to address mobile functionality.
However you get there, it’s important to consider the difference between a desktop visitor and mobile visitor when creating a mobile website.
Laptop visitors are (by definition, right?) sitting down. So are desktop visitors. It’s safe to assume they have some time to navigate and drill down into your website content.
By contrast, mobile visitors are on the go and probably looking for the quickest pathway to the information they seek on your site. When designing for mobile users, pare down your site offerings. For example:
- Reduce site navigation to only the essential funnels.
- Avoid long passages of text.
- Make your contact information absolutely obvious, including one-tap calling and emailing in multiple locations.
2. Frustrating forms
People are getting better at typing on their phones, but it’s still a mistake-prone form of communication.
Consider this when designing the website forms you are asking your mobile visitors to complete.
Reduce forms to only their essential fields to accomplish the goal of the form, whether that is completing a sales transaction or asking a visitor for contact information. You may get less information than you would through a desktop version of the form, when a user is typing on a traditional keyboard, but you’ll also avoid frustrating prospects with a poor mobile experience.
3. Miniature buttons and links
Another caveat of small screens? They are all touch screens, and fingers as navigation tools are less precise than the tip of a desktop mouse arrow.
Links and buttons that are too close to each other, or too small to accurately hit with a finger, will hurt the usability of your mobile site and potentially open web pages that your site visitor did not intend to open.
4. Slow-loading elements
Your mobile site visitor’s downloading speed is less predictable than that of a desktop visitor. It’s 2017, but there is still plenty of variability and outright dead zones on the national cell coverage map.
Slower-loading elements -- like large high-resolution images, PDFs, and embedded videos -- that aren’t an issue for desktop visitors hooked up to wifi may bog down your mobile site. Keep your mobile site free of slow-loading content, and find a more mobile-friendly way to present the information.
A website that works on mobile devices is a must. Avoid these pitfalls to ensure your mobile site is functional, rather than frustrating, for your visitors.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company that specializes in building beautiful, optimized and mobile responsive websites. We also deliver marketing strategy, including inbound marketing and social media marketing, to clients throughout Vermont and the United States.