It’s hardly a secret right now that there’s something of a mobile revolution going on that’s only gaining pace by the day. Over recent years, the number of web users accessing the sites and services of their choice by way of mobile devices has skyrocketed. In fact, as of January 2015 the mobile web-access crowd had in fact overtaken desktop and laptop web-user audience by a pretty sizeable margin, suggesting that things are unlikely to ever be the same again.
According to the web marketing experts all of the above amounts to a unique opportunity for those businesses looking to make the very best of the mobile movement. Yes, it’s a challenge and yes, there will be some businesses that get left behind, but to make efforts to hit home with mobile web markets at this pivotal juncture could give any business the strong start it’s going to need to keep up.
In terms of mobile web design, what’s of crucial importance is understanding how the process and its principles differ greatly from traditional desktop-focused web design. There’s a great deal more to take into account due to there being so many different screen sizes, operating systems and general device specifications to factor in, which although rather foreboding on the surface is a job that’s entirely more approachable than it may sound.
For example, the key to the widest possible compatibility with software and hardware alike is to keep things as simple as possible. This is becoming increasingly true for desktop sites too as the world’s web-user communities grow tired of OTT and generally ostentatious websites, instead preferring clean, stripped-back and altogether simpler affairs. The less complicated your site as a whole is, the better-suited it will be to mobile crowds.
Mobile web access is a quite perfect illustration of the way in which today’s consumers and general audience groups have every intention of getting what they want, when they want it and with no undue fuss. This is something that should be factored into every last element of the mobile website design process as what you’re ultimately gunning for is a site that makes getting to what it is the user wants as fast, easy and obvious as possible. No delays, no distractions and no annoyances along the way – keep everything as concise as possible.
Full Site Experience
Here’s where things get a little tricky though as while conciseness counts, so too does making sure you don’t sell your mobile users short. If, for example, you already operate a desktop site and are coming up with a mobile friendly addition, you will not get away with diluting its content down to about 50% of that which is available on the primary site. This never fails to annoy the living hell out of those that know what you do, like what you do but then cannot access what you do via their mobile devices.
Care with Content
When it comes to the average desktop website, the odd Flash video here and slightly elongated story there aren’t necessarily bad things – they could really spice up the look and feel of things. By contrast, when you’re looking to create a genuinely great user experience on a screen that’s only 4 inches corner to corner and via a device that doesn’t support Flash, you need to be much more careful.
In a wholly similar vein, it’s true to say that data costs as far as mobile devices are concerned have been coming down for years, but at the same time folk are not going to want to waste huge chunks of their allowance on your site if it’s not 100% necessary. Not only this, but in areas where 4G LTE still hasn’t made an appearance and low-end 3G coverage is sketchy at best, complex and overly rich sites and pages are going to take so long for any mobile device to load them up that chances are you won’t see many hanging around long enough to convert.
Consider an App
Last but not least, you could of course always call in the pros to solve each and every one of your problems in one fell swoop by creating an amazing mobile-optimised app on your behalf. The benefit of standalone apps is of course the way in which once downloaded they are stored right there on the desktop in front of the user, or better still run continuously in the background.