With over half of the UK population using smartphones, the internet is being accessed through mobile phones at an increasing rate. If a business doesn’t have a website, it’s seriously damaging its chances of success. This is becoming the way for mobile sites, too. Creating a mobile site should not only be on the top of developing businesses to-do lists, but so should optimising the usability of it.
Keep Text Input Low
The main issue with optimising your mobile site is the misunderstanding that mobile phones navigate the internet as easily as computers or laptops. The very fastest mobile phone typist will reach 30 words per minute, compared to the 100 words per minute on a keyboard. Mobile users are generally more averse to typing on phones, therefore keeping the text input required for your mobile site is important.
Some websites on the internet can be quite fussy, but still easy to navigate. With the smaller screen of a mobile (or even a tablet computer), they can get very hard to navigate. Condense your site into easy to navigate menus and drop down screens, as they make it simple to view and easy to read. Make sure that a search bar is prominent as well, as this is the quickest way to provide your users with the content they want.
Not everyone has needle-thin fingers to precisely tap the correct link on a crowded mobile site. Most people prefer to have a wider margin for error when clicking links through their mobile. Having bigger buttons, as well as the simpler design mentioned earlier, will ensure that your users can use your site with ease.
Clicking on links to your site from a mobile should redirect to the mobile version, despite it being a link to the main site. These forms of redirects will ensure that mobile users get the site that you have spent your time creating for them. It should work the other way around too, so that the user is viewing the site that is most appropriate for the device that they’re on. Offer a ‘view main website’ link, as they may prefer this version, even on a mobile.
Speed and Data Downloads
4G has not yet come to the UK, so mobile internet speeds are still slower than what you can get on a desktop. With data download limits on the majority of smartphone contracts, mobile sites should be designed with this in mind. Smaller images should be shown as standard, to accommodate for the times when mobile users are on a slower connection, with the ability to view it larger when it is faster.
In essence, keep it simple. Overcrowding or complicating your mobile site is just going to put people off. And most importantly, before you go live or advertise it, test, test, test!