If your business has decided to optimize its website for mobile, there are several best practices to keep in mind. While there’s a great advantage in being able to access a website from any device, 24/7, there’s a big difference between mobile and desktop optimization.
Smartphones and tablets are used differently than desktop computers. Mobile users tend to be on the go surrounded by many stimuli and may have limited attention spans. They aren’t sitting at a desk in a quiet environment with a larger screen. Mobile sites should be easy to scan, swipe, tap, search and interact with as well as load quickly.
Below is high level list of areas to address as you plan for your mobile website.
When mobile websites were streamlined in their infancy, skinny sites were all the rage. This was partially due to the fact that mobile phones at the time were not very smart and browsing the web was difficult. Smartphones have changed the way users interact with the web on their phones. Now users expect to see the full site on their phone or tablet. Thus, content should always take precedence and should not be reduced for mobile. The mobile design should simplify the site and make the content easier to read and access.
After you have content addressed, the next step is to ensure users can easily navigate to all the content on your website from their mobile device. Your navigation system should be simple, intuitive and allow for robust site navigation. Simply repurposing your desktop navigation system for the smartphone will frustrate users and cause them to leave your website. Space is at a premium so take advantage of smaller menus and submenu systems to make it easy for users to move around. It’s a good idea to provide relevant options for exploration and pivoting. Your site should give users simple callouts they can focus on in addition to your main navigation.
Be sure to include a phone number in the header of your website. This makes it easy for smartphone users to click to call.
One of the number one tasks users complete on mobile is search. Mobile websites that include keyword search give users another way to quickly access what they are looking for.
It’s also a great idea to include location-based offers and tools since many mobile users are out and about as they check your website on their smartphone or tablet.