When designing for the mobile web, ease of use and quick access to information are the most important things to consider. Mobile means that users are on the go, and they want information fast. A high-quality mobile website design lets them find what they’re looking for without slowing them down.
Focus on Simplicity
To make a mobile-friendly site, you can’t just shrink down your full site and expect it to work. Instead, focus on streamlining the style. Remove excess images and unnecessary text in favor of putting the most sought-after information front and center on your mobile homepage. The fewer things that have to load, the better. Mobile website designs should be approached with speed and usability in mind. Remember, some mobile users are on limited plans, and too much site clutter can eat up precious bandwidth.
Understand Screen Resolution
Keep in mind that you’re designing a site for tablet and Smart phone screens, not big HD monitors. The smaller the screen, the more important text size and layout are. Mobile users don’t want to have to zoom in to read large blocks of text. Instead, break up your content into manageable bits using subheadings, bullet lists and collapsible navigation menus. Balance text, images and white space in natural ways so that your site is easy to view and easy to read.
Make it Recognizable
Whether they’re visiting your desktop or mobile website, visitors should be able to recognize your company. Using the same colors, fonts and images for both sites keeps your brand presence consistent across platforms. This helps users who are familiar with your company feel “at home” on your mobile site and provides new customers with a sense of authenticity.
Visitors don’t like having to click around too much on any website to find what they’re looking for. On a mobile device, multi-level navigation becomes even more frustrating, since customers are using their fingers or a stylus to tap on links. Strive to make navigation on your mobile site as simple as possible. If you sell products, make sure that the path from arrival to purchase point has as few steps as possible. Place relevant information on the homepage and cut down on the amount of pages in the site as a whole. Data input should also be simple and require as little text entry as possible.
Make Both Sites Available
Whether you choose an m-dot URL or a sub domain for your mobile site, you should use a mobile redirect to detect when a visitor is using a mobile device. This will bring them to your mobile site even if they enter your regular site URL. However, no matter how well-designed your mobile presence is, some people will need information that isn’t included. Offer clear links to the full site so that these users can navigate there when they need to find something specific. Another option is to offer the choice of viewing the mobile or full site when a user first enters your URL.
The key thought to keep in mind for mobile website design is that simplicity is a must. By providing the information that mobile users want in an easy-to-use format, you create an optimal mobile experience that can open up a whole new market for your business.