More and more people are accessing the Internet everyday and spending more time on their mobile devices. In fact, many people worldwide now access the Web for the first time on a mobile device. Whether it is a iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or Windows mobile device, you want your website to properly function and have the maximum impact regardless of the browser.
So how do you know if your website need to be mobile optimized? Well, it better be or odds are that your competitors will beat you to it and have the edge on mobile traffic and, potentially, your customers.
Is it Really Necessary?
Speed is at a premium on the Web, especially with mobile devices. If you have a lot of large files or images to load, people get impatient and don’t want to wait for the page. Also, you need to make sure your site offers easy viewing on a small screen and is easy to navigate.
Mobile screens are much smaller, especially smart phones, so navigating is not done the same way that it is on a PC. You want your buttons prominently displayed and make it easy for people to get around your site. For mobile optimization, it is best to give only the necessary information, which prevents the page from being too heavy and load slowly. Think minimalist, but still have a design that captures their attention and makes it easy for them and entices them to take an action.
You need to recognize priorities for your website and how easy it is for a user on a mobile phone to find and access them. Remember that your would-be clients can always click through buttons to find more information, so only the absolutely necessary features and headers need to be visible.
Make it Easy
Users on any device don’t like to do too much work to find information, especially if they feel it should be readily accessible. While users are accustomed to clicking through lists or having information hidden in drop-down bars, they don’t like to have to constantly use the zoom function to find the correct information. “Pinch and zoom” can deter potential customers from navigating your site or completing certain tasks like surveys or forms.
Scrolling menus simplify this problem by allowing customers to scroll through items in a simple move, rather than forcing them to pan and scan.
Mobile phone users can’t easily point and click in small spaces like they can with a mouse. Your buttons and other items should be large enough and spaced enough that a fingertip can easily tap on buttons without accidentally striking others. If they aren’t, you should definitely consider a redesign.
Watch Your Font
While your font may look appealing on a PC, on the smaller screen of a mobile device, your font could become almost impossible to read because it is too small or illegible. Though it may seem to leave your site few options for individuality in its font, it is best to stick to tried and true fonts like Arial or Helvetica and keep them large enough for easy reading.
There are other ways to personalize your website, through content and color, and these will not deter would-be customers from browsing your site and making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter.
Be Careful With Images
You have a limited space to make an impact on your customers, so they do not have the time to search through multiple images. Because of this, you not only need to limit the number of photos but be selective about the ones you choose to leave on your mobile optimized page. Choose photos and graphics that make a positive impact and are likely to draw readers in for the best image usage.
All this can seem a little overwhelming. If you derive significant income from your website (or intend to), you want to have a website that is optimized for mobile devices. You can create a separate website that is tailored to smaller screens. For many, the best option is to get professional Web design services to create a site optimized for mobile devices and tested to render quickly on the different mobile browsers.
Ascent Internet, a St. George, Utah Web design, development, and Internet marketing company, contributed this article. They help businesses across the U.S. get more out of their websites. You can learn more about their services at AscentInternet.com.