Mobile is King

Getting it right on phones and tablets

 

Having a website that works well on a mobile device is paramount today

The share of all website traffic in 2017 generated through mobile phones was 50.3%.  2018 is sitting at 52.2% so far, which is in itself pretty amazing when you consider that back in 2009 it sat at 0.7%. So if more than half of your audience is using their phone to look at your website can you afford to dish up a shoddy version of your desktop version?

Obviously the answer is “no, stupid”, but it is scary how many websites don’t offer a good web experience, it is even more baffling how many simply don’t fit a mobile at all.

To be fair it has been a seismic change in the way websites have  to be designed and constructed, and designers have often been slow to get switched onto it’s importance. It has also taken time for the tools and code we use to design sites to catch up with the functionality and requirements of mobiles. Add to that the fact that smartphones have been evolving and changing size at a dizzying rate and it has proven to be something of a minefield.

We use WordPress and it’s very happy on mobile

We develop all of our sites in WordPress, which is one of the most popular open source content management systems available. It is stable, secure and benefits from constant updates. WordPress allows us to create websites that adapt to whatever they are being viewed upon, and gives us the ability to tweak performance across platforms.

As a client, how aware of mobile web use should you be?

Very, how can you afford to ignore the majority of your customers? Make sure your site looks and functions well on mobile devices. Don’t forget that we use them very differently to a desktop computer, it’s fingers rather than a mouse so are the buttons and links on your site easily used by a digit rather than mouse or keyboard?

Obviously you should be able to get a breakdown of your specific sites traffic by device, you may well find that your site has a higher or lower percentage of mobile visitors than the average. Whatever the stats are it is crucial to realise that the trend in usage is going up and shows no signs of stopping.

The key things to remember for a mobile site

  1. Mobile first. Smart designers start with the mobile version in mind from the get go. This is where you really think about your content and how it is ordered and prioritised for the best user experience. The ‘id’ in Construct id stands for information design because that always comes first.
  2. Engage your visitor to hold them on your site – this rings true for any platform but is critical on mobile phones.
  3. It’s smaller than a laptop. Seems obvious doesn’t it? But keep this in mind when deciding on type size and the amount of copy to use. Creative ways of condensing content or linking to other pages for the deep detail exist.
  4. Make buttons and links easily usable on a phone, don’t crowd them together.
  5. Don’t use pop ups – such as a pop up box to encourage email subscriptions. Most phone browsers don’t support them so it essentially breaks your site.
  6. Have a ‘back to top’ button to save thumb ache.
  7. Be prepared to periodically audit your site usage and update or tweak it where necessary.
  8. Use a content management system that works well on mobile. That’s why we use WordPress.