Designing a Website for the Mobile World – Why Mobile Designs Matter and Why You Should Care
The Internet is going mobile and it’s happening more and more every day. If you don’t have a mobile design or mobile version of your website, you’re losing a large percentage of your web traffic. Regardless, of the industry you work within, people of all ages are using their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to view content online.
It’s estimated that there are 1.2 billion mobile web users online and some of them no longer use a desktop on a regular basis. The data also shows that more and more people enjoy shopping online from their mobile device. It’s easy to see why more smartphones are sold yearly than desktop computers. Computers aren’t going anywhere, but people are using their mobile devices a lot more than ever before.
Taking mobile-first strategy with your website design is something we recommend to all of our Toronto clients. With so many different mobile devices and screen sizes it can almost be impossible to have a custom design for each mobile user. Basically, a responsive mobile design allows adapting to any screen it is being viewed on. A responsive website design is usually the best way to make your site look great on any device. It can be the best way to ensure that all the important elements of your website appear correctly for your entire audience. It doesn’t matter what the hottest phone on the market is, or if people are using Apple or Android; your site will look great.
In the past, website owners would need to create two completely different versions of their website. One for desktop viewers and the other for people using mobile devices. We made some of these websites years ago and we saw firsthand the amount of work and money it took to keep two sites constantly up-to-date. That also meant doing most of your online marketing and SEO work twice. Nowadays, with a responsive design, you only need to maintain one website.
There will be an initial cost of creating a mobile website, but over time you’ll save money. You’ll also see that your customers will be a lot more engaged with your responsive website. Mobile users are typically using newer technology than desktop users to navigate your website, this can open the door to some really exciting website marketing opportunities. Your website can capitalize on some innovative online marketing strategies such as gathering tracking location information, multi-touch hand gestures, less traffic from older technology and browsers, utilizing audio and video from cameras and microphones and much more.
A mobile-friendly website will also rank higher in Google. The search engine giant has been updating their algorithm to place higher ranking scores to sites designed to appear well on mobile devices. Some websites without mobile capabilities have almost completely disappeared from Google search results. More importantly, mobile users visiting your website from Google are going to be able to read your content and navigate through your website.
You don’t have as much screen real estate to work with when you’re designing for the smaller screen of a mobile device. You’ll want to keep your navigation simple to use and logical. Make it easy to move throughout your website without using a lot of navigation. Also, be sure to make your tap point large enough. Don’t overwhelm your visitors, respect their screen size with your design and content. Flash can be a pain to load on a mobile device, your users will appreciate if you don’t use it in your design.
It’s not easy to enter a lot of text when you are viewing a website on a mobile device, especially a phone. That’s why you’ll want to avoid long URLs, keep them short and easy to type. When using forms you’ll want to keep them as short as possible, if you need more information from your customers, get it later in your sales process. Try to keep scrolling to a minimum and only allow scrolling in one direction.
A lot of people will view your website on both their mobile device and desktop computer and they are going to expect a similar experience between the two devices. Everything should be consistent on your website, regardless of the device used. They should see the same branding, content, offers and e-commerce process on both.
Website design is about delivering a memorable and positive experience. When you’re website doesn’t take mobile users into account you’re missing out on a large portion of your customer base. Having responsive mobile design is the best way to have a website that looks good for everyone and will work on the latest technology. We’re a Markham based website design company that’s helping Toronto and area businesses build innovative websites since 2002. Our team of experienced designers have built responsive websites for a wide range of clients and we’d love to talk to you about your mobile marketing needs. Contact us today to learn more about how to take your mobile presence to the next level – your customers will thank you.