Pathways To Success On The Mobile Web
The portals through which people can access your website are expanding, and your website has to adapt to remain fully functional.
It was two years ago when we reached a mobile tipping point – Google’s announcement that mobile internet searches have overtaken desktop internet searches. Google also famously updated its search algorithm in 2015 to rank mobile optimized websites higher.
The reality is, people will view your website on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and, imminently, virtual reality headsets. As a result, versatility is at a premium. Your site should work for you no matter how someone is viewing it.
Follow these pathways to mobile website success, and rest easy knowing that, no matter the device used, your visitor will have an exceptional experience navigating your site.
1) Re-Evaluate Your Content
Creating a mobile website is a great opportunity to really consider the value of the content on your site. Because mobile screens are so much smaller, there is less real estate to convey your information. Some of this can be overcome with sleeker design and more compact navigation menus, but a clear-eyed edit of your content is a necessary part of optimizing your website for mobile devices.
2) Choose A Navigation Strategy
Some sites can convey their story concisely enough so that their full site is functional on large, medium and small screens. In most cases, however, building a website that responds to the device it is being viewed on is the best way to make it versatile.
A responsive website retains all or most of your content, only changing the way your visitors discover it through redesigned navigation.
The three-lined “hamburger menu” at the top of most mobile sites can house your site’s full navigation. The icon has become the most prevalent mobile navigation solution, although it has its limitations. For instance, it does not give users any clue as to what they will find when they tap on it. Nonetheless, the three-lined icon has become a standard of mobile site menus.
I recommend using it because, the more ubiquitous it becomes, the more users will innately understand what it means.
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Some other mobile navigation approaches include putting a navigation menu at the bottom of your pages, or retaining desktop-style navigation and adding whitespace around each button to make them easier to tap.
3) Ungripping The Mouse
One thing you will lose going from desktop/laptop to mobile device design is the ability to design for a mouse. Navigating the web with finger taps and swipes is very different than steering with mouse movements and clicks. This manifests itself on mobile sites with lost hovering abilities.
Many desktop navigation dropdown menus allow you to hover your mouse over the item to reveal richer content behind the menu tab. That function is unavailable to mobile visitors.
Also, finger typing and tapping is less precise than a mouse click. So, designing big enough buttons to reduce mis-taps and redesigning any portions of your site that require long, typed in fields are smart moves.
If you have forms on your site, give your visitors an array of pre-selected options on your mobile site instead of making them type information. This will limit the possibility that a visitor gets frustrated interacting with your mobile site.
4) Help Your Multi-Tasking Visitor
Your mobile visitor is most likely, well … mobile – perhaps walking around, riding in a car, or some other form of multi-tasking. They have less time to drill into your content than a seated desktop web surfer.
Help them by keeping your contact and location information prominent and easy to find and use.
Mobile website design caters to users who are often geographically close and highly motivated to engage with you.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company specializing in building optimized and mobile responsive websites. We have experience in web design as well as creating strategic inbound marketing and social media marketing programs.