The mobile revolution is upon us with Google launching its mobile-first index in 2018. And with 52.2% of internet traffic coming from mobile devices in 2018, now is the time for your business to design its website for the mobile experience.
It’s important to remember that the mobile experience is different from the desktop experience. Moreover, mobile users behave differently. As such, there are certain design elements you need to bear in mind and specific ways you need to optimise your website to get the most out of it.
The good news is that designing your website for the mobile experience doesn’t need to be too tricky at all. Let’s take a look at 7 next-level ways to do it.
Perform A/B Tests
You can’t A/B test everything. A/B testing only really works if you’ve got a hypothesis first. However, there are specific elements that all website owners should A/B test to optimise the user experience. These include:
Button Placement and Colour
Navigation is often more important than actual text. Thus, you need to nail your colour and placement.
Your aim with buttons - especially call to actions - is to help the end user identify the primary action you want them to take. Placement, then, is especially key. Test different placements and colours to see what the effects are on conversions.
Colour and size are important considerations here. If you change font size by just one point, your conversions could change drastically.
See how small or large you can make your text, and how these changes affect your conversions.
In terms of colour, black-on-white might seem like the default option for many brands, but test to see what works best for you.
Your headlines will likely be shorter on your mobile website. For example, “Here Is What You Need To Do If You Think You’re Addicted to Coffee” might work on desktop but it’s just too long for mobile devices.
So shorten and then test your headlines. You need them to be shorter, but you still need them to be compelling.
Forms on desktop often come with multiple fields. That’s fine because it’s easy to navigate them on desktop.
On mobile, it’s a different story. Break your form into sections and test the results. What information is absolutely necessary, and what fields can be dropped?
When it comes to forms on mobile devices, the fewer taps the user needs to perform, the better.
Optimise For Site Speed
Site speed is absolutely crucial to the user experience. If the mobile version of your website takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you will lose conversions.
There are a few ways you can optimise your website for site speed. One is to choose a hosting provider that reduces first byte time and thus improves server response speed.
Another is to use an image compressor tool to ensure your images aren’t too large and thus slowing things down.
Make sure to use a responsive framework too (see above) and use lazy load, which allows the user to view some of your content as soon as possible. This can reduce the possibility of people exiting early because they will at least be able to see that some elements of your website are in the process of loading.
Eliminate Flash, too, and eradicate all technical errors. Don’t forget to run your website through a mobile site speed tester as well.
Less Is More When It Comes to Content
Long form content performs better than short form content on desktop. It gets shared more because it offers more value and depth to the end user.
However, mobile users behave differently to desktop users. For one thing, they’re restricted by a much smaller screen. For another, they’re in more of a rush and they want actionable information.
Indeed, a lot of the time mobile users are carrying out product research. They don’t want to be slowed down by content that takes too long to get to the point. Think about where they are when they’re browsing on their phones: They’re waiting for a bus, stuck in a traffic jam or doing a bit of research during a coffee break at work. As such, they want snappy information while they’re on the move.
It’s a good idea, then, to adjust your content for the mobile reader. This means shortening your headlines so they’ll fit neatly onto the screen, and tightening up your copy so that it’s more concise and direct. Get to the point faster. Eliminate all unnecessary information and serve the answers up on a plate for the end user.
Go for single-sentence paragraphs, too. Perhaps not all the time, but single-sentence paragraphs will look more readable on mobile screens, and will thus keep the reader engaged for longer. The last thing a mobile user wants to see are foreboding chunks of text on their screen. Use more sub-headings too and exploit white space.
On the other hand, if you must produce longer content for mobile, make sure to break things up with eye-catching visuals. Don’t overwhelm the user with too much text. Consider adding infographics too, as these help you condense lots of information into a single image.
It’s also a good idea to create more video posts. If you’ve got a long form piece of content that might be too overwhelming for mobile users, perhaps create a video version of it for your mobile audiences.
Make Mobile Communication a Breeze
As mentioned, mobile users are generally in a hurry. They want fast, actionable information - and they want answers.
To that end, you need to give your mobile user experience a boost by making communication a breeze. This can mean adding a live chat or a chatbot to your site that answers customer queries in seconds.
Your website needs to be ‘always on’ like this. Otherwise, your customers will get their answers from a rival instead. A mobile chatbot personalises the user experience by providing answers that are specific to the end user. And it’s available 24/7.
Consider adding FreshDesk, too, a mobile-friendly help desk software that manages your customer communications across all devices and channels.
Optimise Your Logo
Your logo represents the face of your brand. It helps to build trust and familiarity, and it’s key that you have one. If you don’t have one yet, you can use a tool like Hatchful to help you create a professional logo in just a few minutes.
Once you’ve got your logo, positioning is key. On mobile devices, the logo is typically placed in the top-left. Moreover, it’s usually a link that takes the user back to the home page.
This is really important for navigation purposes. If the user is lost and wants to get back to the home page as soon as possible, they will click your logo at the top-left. So make sure your logo is professional, prominently displayed, and make double sure it takes the end user back to the homepage.
Use a Responsive Framework
Before you launch your mobile website, you need to design it using a responsive framework. A responsive framework such as Bootstrap adjusts your website according to the device it’s being displayed on. This means the end user doesn’t have to zoom in to read the text, there is enough space for tap targets and there’s no need for horizontal scrolling.
The design is instead seamless and user friendly. Not just this, but a responsive website is more visible on search engines, which means your reach to customers is increased.
In the past, website owners would build a separate website for desktop and mobile. This, of course, cost time and money. Nowadays you can use a tool like Bootstrap, and the good news is that it does most of the hard work for you.
Keep Everything In a Single Browser Window
On desktop, it’s okay for a call to action to launch a new window because it’s really easy for the user to find their way back to the page they’re on. It’s just a case of jumping from one tab to another.
On mobile, it’s a tad trickier.
It’s a good idea to keep your user in a single browser window. Don’t implement calls to action that opens new windows, as the user might find it hard to return to where they were. Or, they might at least think the time spent bouncing back and forth between windows isn’t worth it.
So there you have it, our 7 next level ways to design your website for the optimal mobile UX. Implement them, get onboard with the mobile revolution - and keep an eye on mobile usability trends to ensure you stay one step ahead of the curve.