Recent surveys reveal that almost 70% of all online searches come from mobile devices. If your user experience doesn’t meet the demands of an audience that’s accustomed to buttery-smooth apps, you lose the opportunity to attract the majority of today’s online population. Luckily, you can tweak your site to make it not just mobile-friendly but mobile-first.
We’ve put together five common elements of successful mobile websites for businesses of all sizes and industries:
1. Responsive Design
Responsive web design enables pages to automatically adjust to an extensive range of devices and screen sizes. With responsive design, you can address the needs of all your site visitors regardless of the gadget they use, without having to manage multiple versions of your site. Studies show that 94% of first-time visitors will leave a site that doesn’t adjust to their preferred devices.
How to Achieve Responsive Design
Developers from our team and from our peers at top creative agencies recommend these steps to bring your user experience in line with current best practices:
1. Base your designs around common responsive breakpoints: These are the points at which a site’s components adapt to provide users with ideal layouts for consuming information. The most recent Worldwide Screen Resolution Statistics state that the following are the most common resolutions among computers with modern web browsers:
- 1920 x 1080 (This is a popular size among desktop devices, and it happens to be the same resolution as a typical HDTV display. We’re also seeing many new, large laptops capable of supporting this resolution.)
- 1366 x 768 (If you know anyone with a company-issued laptop from Dell or HP, this is probably their display size. We refer to it as “squatty” since this aspect ratio doesn’t really like tall design elements.)
- 1440 x 900 (Another frequent display size, many older Apple laptops support this resolution.)
- 2560 x 1440 (We often call this the “ultra-desktop,” as it’s most commonly rendered by newer iMac, Surface, and other high-end desktop displays.
- 1680 x 1050 (Very common among mid-range enterprise displays, we see this resolution most often on sites frequented by office users.)
- Start with a fluid grid: This method has a flexible content width that runs from one end of a gadget to the other. Fluid grids use columns, heights, and widths instead of fixed dimensions. This way, your designs can scale up and down in proportion with a display’s size.
- Use responsive elements: Apply videos, images, and fonts that will improve your user experience. With the right code, your design elements and media can stretch or shrink to fit your user’s display. You can also define responsive text sizes to have them adjust to gadget width.
- Test your responsiveness: Before you launch a new or improved site, run experiments on different devices first. It’s essential to try the conditions from a potential client’s perspective. We’re fond of using BrowserStack to test a new site design across dozens of popular OS and screen size combinations.
2. Fast Loading Speeds
Gone are the days when people would use dial-up connections and patiently wait for websites to load. Experts consider today’s generation the most impatient of all time, and nobody can stand a slow website any longer.
Nowadays, search engine giant Google recommends loading speeds of less than two seconds. Here’s why: A whopping 57% of site visitors will exit a page that needs more than three seconds to load its content. The worst part is, most of them will most likely never return to your site again.
How to Achieve Fast Loading Speeds
There are many ways to achieve fast loading speeds. Below are some of the most convenient fixes you can apply.
- Choose the ideal hosting solutions: You really do get what you pay for when it comes to website hosting. Free or cheap “shared” hosting platforms used to be okay enough for small businesses, but they’re often too slow to spin up. Even worse, a site getting slammed on a shared hosting cluster can take your company’s site down with it. Pay for managed hosting from reputable providers with access to reliable content delivery systems. We’re fond of both Flywheel (part of WPEngine) and Pantheon.
- Practice minimalism: Every component on your website — from videos to images and scripts — uses an HTTP request. According to a recent Yahoo study, these elements make up 80% of a site’s loading time. If you want your site to load faster, review your website’s design and remove any feature that doesn’t add value to your brand.
- Cache pages: Caching is the process of storing copies of your site’s files, later minimizing the effort for your server to load its components. You can achieve this feat at the server level or by using plugins. If you’re running a site with lots of media—like a fashion or beauty product site—consider using an edge network, a third-party CDN, or another content delivery accelerator to keep things running fast.
3. Quick Answers
Recent studies reveal that the majority of website visitors prefer fast access to content over popular features. In other words, your site’s layout, design, and functions should help them discover relevant content immediately.
Once consumers pull out a mobile phone, they are most likely looking for specific details like product information, contact details, or delivery particulars. As mentioned earlier, they don’t want to spend a lot of time and effort looking for necessary information.
How to Achieve Quick Answers
When building your site, think about the information your potential clients need. Afterward, publish them in areas that will attract your visitors’ attention instantly.
Here are some of the information site visitors often look for:
- Your unique selling proposition (USP) or the reason why they should choose you over your competitors
- Awards or certifications
- Complete product or service details
- Contact details including mailing address, email address, and phone number
- Social proof like testimonials or customer reviews
If you feel like you have too many important factors to highlight, you can develop an area for frequently asked questions (FAQs).
4. An Intuitive Interface
No matter what device your clients use, they should never feel like they’re not smart enough to navigate your site. When consumers find your website easy to use, the more they use it.
Imagine visiting a website looking for a particular product. If you have to scroll through five pages to find it, that’s not an example of an intuitive interface. The goal is to enable your visitors to complete all desired tasks without much thought or interruption.
How To Achieve an Intuitive Interface
There are practical ways you can help your clients achieve uncomplicated browsing or shopping experiences at your site. Below are some essential components to achieve intuitiveness:
- Simplified processes
- Result-oriented links that don’t contain any unpleasant surprises
- Having a particular buyer persona in mind
- Design factors that inform rather than distract
- Visible and legible icons and buttons
5. Short Menus
When you think of mobile users, remember their specific needs. Most of them use their fingers for navigation instead of mice and styluses.
Mobile users do not wish to scroll through extensive menu options to find a particular product. You only need to show them pivotal web pages. If you provide these consumers with too many choices, they might leave your site.
How to Achieve Short Menus
When it comes to mobile navigation, consumers prefer short menus. Here are some practical tips to achieve this feat without compromising content quality:
- Choose single-column layouts. They enable mobile users to see website components in better sizes and fonts.
- Apply vertical scrolling. Some developers have tried implementing horizontal scrolling to stand out, but the market hasn’t adapted to the method yet.
- Insert secondary tasks in the menu. When in doubt, keep secondary tasks like updating profiles in the menu instead of the main page.
Enhance User Experience For Mobile Users
A recent Google study shows that over 70% of its searches originate from mobile sources. If your website doesn’t address the needs of this market segment, you miss out on an opportunity to boost your lead generation, conversion, and sales efforts. Based on current data, this trend might last for many more years.
Check out Google Mobile-Friendly Test to examine if your website meets essential mobile-friendliness criteria. If not, it’s time to enhance your UX for mobile users. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to achieve exponential growth.
We want to help you achieve your goals, one extraordinary experience at a time. We run a User Experience Express Audit program specifically for companies that want to optimize their websites. Schedule your complimentary discovery session now, so we can help reveal how to improve the results on your mobile website.