The number of mobile users is continuing to increase as people are looking for more convenient ways to access the web. They’re using their tablet, mobile phone, and smartphones to check their emails, obtain real-time search results, and find relevant information online.
What does this mean to business owners and marketers? It means that mobile is an important aspect that must be considered when crafting a marketing plan. Having mobile-friendly features on your website is no longer an option. Businesses need to implement a mobile marketing strategy for their business to capture more audiences and cater towards their customers’ needs.
When you’re designing your website, you need to consider the usability of your website design. You want to showcase the best side of your business through your website, so it’s crucial for you to create a mobile website that’s attractive, easy to use, and most importantly, mobile-friendly.
Let’s take a look at some of the best ways you can keep usability in mind when designing your mobile website.
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1) Minimalism and Simplicity
When people are sitting on the bus or train to commute to and from work, they like to browse the Internet. Compared to a large desktop monitor or laptop screen, the screen on a mobile device is extremely tiny. This can make Internet browsing very difficult and harsh for the eyes, especially when the text or navigation buttons are too small.
When people are reading an extensive amount of content from your website, you want to ensure that they can read the text without any trouble.
A great way to increase usability on your mobile website is by using a minimalistic approach to your web design. You want hide your menu bars and opt for a drop down button that allows for visitors to quickly navigate through other sections of your website when they need to. It is preferable to put the drop down icon on either left or right side of the screen. Wired does a great job in keeping their website minimalistic and including a simple bar at the top of their mobile site.
Another way to keep your website simple is by removing any unnecessary visual assets, banners, and texts that are distracting. Check out Moz’s mobile website for their blog. They do a great job in including white space to make their mobile website look very spacious. There aren’t any footers or toolbars that appear to distract you from reading their content.
2) Focused Pages and Content
Avoid having too much writing on your website. This doesn’t mean you can’t have lengthy content, but it’s important to include spaces between sentences.
Try using images and shorter paragraphs to make your content less clustered. You don’t want to make your content seem extremely long and cause your readers to lose interest.
A great way to increase readability on your website is by keeping each of your web pages focused. Every page of your website, including the homepage, should have only one purpose. They should focus on a specific purpose or category. You can use links and hyperlinks in your content to guide them properly through your website. This also gives your visitors an opportunity to visit different parts of your website.
For example, if one of your web pages is talking about heating services. This page can focus on providing a summary of the heating services provided by your business. You shouldn’t go into detail of what the different types of heating services you provide. Instead, link to different parts of your website and navigate the readers to the specific pages that will talk about each service.
3) Flexible Layouts
Different mobile devices call for different dimensions. Hence, keeping your website’s layout flexible can ensure that your website’s content will be displayed properly on any screen size.
However, never create your website based on one specific dimension. This may cause your website to work on one screen, but not on others. Not only will this affect the usability of your visitors, but the ranking of your website as well.
4) Touch-Based Designs
Although we still use keyboards and mouse on our laptops and desktops, many people are using devices that are touchscreen. Whether it’s a tablet, mobile phone, or smartphone, a keyboard is no longer a physical thing you can click, but a touch-based one.
Be extra careful when you’re designing a website. You want to keep this in mind because you want to ensure your visitors can navigate around your website.
Everyone is different and we all have different hand sizes. Therefore, you want to make sure the buttons on your website are large enough to click, but not too big that it covers a majority of your content. Ensure that there is sufficient space between each button to avoid mis-clicks on your website.
5) Forms Should Be Short
Phone screens are getting larger and larger, but typing on a touchscreen is still quite troublesome for many people. In fact, typing on a mobile device can sometimes be frustrating for many people when they’re always making mistakes.
The forms on your site should be easy to fill out for your visitors. In the end, you want your visitors to convert. However, you don’t want to have too many questions that require them to answer.
Keep your forms limited to 2-4 areas to fill out. You’ll mainly want to obtain their name and their email address.
6) Lower your Image Sizes
You want to avoid having larger pictures on your website. This affects the loading speed and performance of your website. In fact, if visitors are accessing your website on their phone, it may cause the performance to slow down and increase the bounce rates of your site.
It is best to include images that are smaller in size. This also includes lowering the dimensions of your images as well. The screen on a mobile device is not as large, therefore there isn’t a need for a large image.
Here are some great tips on how you can optimize your images.
7) Provide Added Features
There are many mobile features that can help increase the usability of your website. You want to provide a flawless experience on your website.
Add click to call buttons to make it more convenient for visitors to call your business. Embedding your map is also a convenient way to have users find out how they can get to your business. There is a possibility that they’re searching your business on the go and looking for real-time results. Therefore, having a map embedded can allow them to quickly navigate to your store via Google Maps.
Some other great features include, providing an option for your visitors to view your non-mobile site or allowing users to zoom in and out of your website for better readability and viewing.
8) Social Media Sharing Buttons
It is recommended for websites to include social media sharing buttons. However, avoid including too many social buttons. This is because it will cause cluster on your mobile website.
Choose the most popular social media platforms as the options for sharing. For example, you may want to stick with Twitter and Facebook. Remember to use appropriate sizes for your sharing icons. You want them to be big enough to remove any hassles from clicking on the button, but small enough to avoid taking up page space.
What are other design features do you consider when improving the usability of your mobile website? Do you look at improving the sign-up forms or lower image sizes? Mobile marketing continues to be an important priority for businesses and it’s important for your business to create mobile-friendly websites that are convenient and easy-to-use. Tell us how you improve your mobile website’s usability in the comments below!