Following on from last month’s column about the impact that mobile technology has had on our lives, this month’s column considers the latest thinking in developing websites for mobile use.
With most sites now experiencing over half of their visitor traffic from mobiles and tablets, what constitutes good usability on mobile?
Building websites for mobile
The challenge in building great device-responsive websites has always been usability.
How can a single site be made for optimum accessibility regardless of screen size? Modern responsive sites are built from the mobile up (mobile first), ensuring that only the minimum amount of code is loaded for each incremental screen size, keeping speeds up.
Mobile-first design is more or less a given, but what else should your website include to ensure that you don’t lose a visitor’s attention if they access the site from a mobile?
Here are our top five tips for giving your visitors a great mobile experience:
Responsive images and video: Ensure that all of the content on the site is responsive, not just the text.
Your images and graphics should resize automatically without losing quality, use .svg graphics to make the most of the HD and retina displays and maintain quality whatever their size.
Reduce the size of any video files or remove completely if they slow down the user experience.
Use push menus or overlays: This is key to effective navigation, don’t make users keep scrolling to find links to other pages. Use sticky menus that are ever-present and activate an overlaid menu or push menus that slide in from the side on swipe.
Use sliders but make them obvious: Utilise the horizontal ‘space’ either side of the screen to allow users to scroll left and right through content in a carousel. Ensure these are obvious by including left and right arrows or showing the edges of the previous and next items so it is clear that users can scroll left and right.
Touch optimisation: The latest developments in mobile versions include features designed for the device. Dropdown menus are being replaced with radio style button options that allow users to easily select options without getting frustrated with dropdown menus that can be affected by touch and heavy hands.
Having a well thought-out mobile-responsive website leads to conversions.
By the very nature of mobile we are often accessing websites on the move – provide your visitors with great usability and your mobile conversions will increase.
To read more on this and other subjects, please visit the blog at www.ascensor.co.uk/blog.
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• Ascensor are a Digital Agency providing website design, ecommerce and search engine optimisation.