Is there a more frustrating mobile experience than trying to access a webpage on the go, only to find that it lags, or part of it doesn’t load, or the layout is misaligned for your screen? Aside from dropped calls, there probably isn’t. Now if you’re someone with a website and you’re aware of these problems, but have yet to create a mobile version of your site, consider some of these important aspects before you go ahead and make the switch.
Image courtesy of emptyglass / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
No longer are websites restricted to the dimensions of your computer screen—or even your cellphone—because now sites are also being accessed from TVs, tablets, phablets and so on. This means your mobile site has to have flexibility depending on what device is opening the page. The best way to achieve this as painlessly as possible is to simplify and strip down your site to the basics. Mobile users lack the accuracy of using a mouse, so overloading them with links to different parts of the site is going to be a pain when viewed on a relatively small screen. Making sure the font is larger than standard and buttons are prominently displayed will help users navigate without being overwhelmed.
However, to account for all the different devices people may use to access your site will require part of the site’s code to include auto adjusting features that detect the user’s screen and alters the page. Most of the more mobile friendly sites use this method since it is an affordable and accessible solution for many.
Fake It ‘til You Make It
A growing trend with bigger companies is to make their own mobile applications for consumers to use, which cuts down on some of the snags of using a mobile site. Mobile applications have the advantage of being faster and more integrated with components like shopping and payment services, which make it easier on the user. But not everyone has the resources to build an application from the ground up, nor does every business need one. However, you can take the aspects that people like about native applications and apply them to your website.
Speed is a big factor, as a mobile application typically loads faster than a webpage. But just as important as how fast your site actually loads is how fast it like it loads to users. There are a few visual tricks from having buttons that appear to be physically pressed to adding momentum to scrolling down a list to make a user feel like the site is responding to them faster. Of course it is important to make sure the hardware behind your website is up to scratch, but you can definitely have a fast website that feels slow to users because of bad design.
You have to put a lot of hard work and thought into making a website that is easy and comfortable for people to access on mobile devices, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run. Mobile friendly sites make for happier visitors, thus leaving them with a positive experience instead of a frustrating one.