In case you have been living on the moon, we now live in a mobile-dominant world. Google have stated recently that 52% of website traffic and half of shopping traffic comes from mobile devices. Stands to reason then that a mobile compatible web design is a necessity. April 2015 saw Mobilegeddon, Googles algorithm update which transformed the marketing world, putting responsive and mobile websites front and centre of any digital strategy.
Nine months after the update, still nearly half of sites are not mobile optimised despite it having a negative effect on their search rankings and traffic.
When considering all of the above, it is really important that you do not discount users on desktop as things like number of pages and time on site are significantly greater and people still prefer desktop when watching videos or reading news.
It’s really important that all of the above detail is taken into account when designing and planning the various experiences for your site as, depending on the medium, consumers have a clear plan of action. If they can’t find what they want, quickly and they experience page load issues, they will go somewhere else.
If you haven’t started on your mobile strategy because the job seems to big to take on, it really isn’t as hard as you think and if you ensure whoever you work with follows these principles, you will have all the boxes ticked.
Make Your Menus Simple
You can’t expect users navigate a large menu on mobile, nor will they click through to multiple sub-menus. It’s critical that menus contain an overview of the products and services to allow visitors to quickly find what they are looking for. Ideally, your menu should have no more than 5-6 items which will give them enough guidance for search. Try and stay away from sub menus if you can but if you need them, 1-2 at max.
Keep Your Forms Short
Your users will not want to fill out a long form on their mobile, they will wait until they are on their laptop for that, so make sure you only ask for information that is absolutely necessary. If it is a contact form to sign up for a newsletter, try not to ask for anything more than name and email. For payment forms, try to keep the number of fields to a minimum. Your Clients will know that you need a certain amount of information but please be mindful of their time, especially if a lot of your visitors use your mobile site.
Keep Your Forms Simple.
When planning, think about what questions you need to ask and try not to expect to gather too much input from users. Utilize all the tools that are available and which will make inputting easier, for example checkboxes, dropdowns and calendars. Think about autofill for returning customers and offer guest checkouts for clients who don’t want or have an account.
Use Calls to Action.
They are essential for any website design but particularly effective on mobile. Place them in the best places and bear in mind that users will (in general) have more of an idea of what they came to your site for. Use great colours and don’t make people have to scroll to find them, make them stand out and make the offer obvious. Below is an example showing how you can change the experience between desktop and mobile.
Give Them What They Want
Site search is essential to mobile users because as mentioned earlier, they usually come with a specific action in mind. It is really important that the search results provide exactly what is being looked for on the first page. Once the user completes a search, make sure you provide filter options so that results can be sorted in order or relevance (price, top sellers etc)
Keeping the experience in mind, it is really important to feature an image, the price and a short description with every item so that your pages aren’t overly confusing with lots of text. Make sure the images are clickable and that they can be expanded within the same window. Make it easy so that one a user finds what they are looking for they can either click to learn more or purchase. Make sure everything looks clean and doesn’t overwhelm the mobile experience.
Don’t Hide and Make It Easy to Contact You
With any site, particularly ecommerce, having the ability to contact quickly is essential. From a customer service perspective you will need to be able to answer questions or issues with an order. For mobile users, this ideally means having features like click-to-call, along with a contact form or email address. Give your visitors options so that they can conveniently contact you.
Other items to consider are an FAQ page, a google map, returns info etc.
Easily the most common complaint is that the buttons are too small to click on and the text is too hard or small to read. The idea of responsive or mobile website design is that you should not have to zoom to read or click on a link. Pages need to be designed so that each button is large enough to be clicked on and the spacing is correct so that you are not accidentally clicking on the wrong things. Make sure you are not making visitors have to zoom to read your content.
As a general rule, the minimum area which will accommodate your users thumbs is 44px by 44px. Please also remember that people still have an old smartphone so design with an iPhone 4 in mind rather than a 6+.
Think Load Time
Your users will expect your pages to load in four seconds or less. In order to achieve this, try to keep the size of your site below 1MB and ensure images / videos are used wisely as the more you have the slower it will be.
Stay Away From Pop-Ups
They are not welcome in general let alone on a mobile. Think cleverly and use Calls to action correctly instead.
Think of Mobile as Your Marketing Mecca!
As always, I hope you found this useful. Please feel free to drop me any comments below and will be sure to answer them, would be great if this got shared to anybody you feel may find it useful as well.
All the best