Today, it is more likely that users will be looking at your website on a mobile device than on a desktop or laptop. While it should already be mandatory, many websites still need to adapt to the mobile environment in order to stay relevant. Simply making your website smaller just won’t do. It is imperative that users have the same friendly experience on a mobile device as they would on a desktop. Here are 6 of the most important items to consider when creating a mobile website:
1. Single Column Layout
Your mobile site should be set-up with a single column layout. More than one column is too much of a distraction and you risk squeezing too much information onto the screen. Having only one column is much cleaner and easier for users to navigate.
2. Simplified Menus
While your website might have a handful of menu options, your mobile site should not. The navigation menu should be minimal as users don’t want to scroll through a long list of options. The menu should only consist of the most important elements of your website, while secondary navigation options should be behind the main menu options to save space. If that isn’t possible, consider regrouping your sites structure for mobile purposes.
3. Tappable CTA’s
One of the most important aspects of any mobile site is the call-to-action (CTA). CTA’s need to be buttons (not text) large enough that a thumb can easily tap and be within easy reach of the “thumb zone”. They also need to be front and center, simple, clear and clickable.
4. Easy-to-Find Search
The search button is a key element of any mobile site. If a user comes to your site, it’s generally to find something. An open-text search box should be included on most mobile sites, preferably at the top of the screen or in a prominent area.
5. Do Away With Zoom
Your mobile-friendly site should not contain any instance that requires users to pinch and zoom in order to read content or perform an action. This is just asking for a user to abandon your site due to frustration. The only real exception would be for images of material products in order to allow users to examine them more closely.
6. Simplify the Visual
For a mobile site to be optimal, it needs to load quickly. An effort should be made to remove any visual complications (as well as large amounts of needless code) that could slow down your site’s loading times. Larger images mean a page will take longer to load, and the longer it takes, the more likely the user is to abandon your site. Optimize image sizes, or omit them all together, and keep your mobile site clean by using a flat design where possible to avoid unnecessary load times.
The mobile version of your website should make it easy for your users to complete the most common tasks. Any element that might distract the user from achieving your websites goal should be removed. With people now spending more Internet time on mobile devices, optimizing your website for mobile devices is now a must-have for any business or organization.