May 19

Making friends with mobile

Over 80% of all internet searches now originate on mobile and more than half of all online content is consumed on our smartphones. So, you’d expect brands to be prioritising mobile websites to ensure they delight users on what is now the device of choice…well, don’t be so sure. With many websites still failing to deliver a great experience on mobile, now is the time to gain a competitive edge by catering to your mobile users

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Why is mobile so important?

Aside from the supporting statistics, the answer is likely to lie in your own user behaviour and preferences. I’m sure you’d agree, browsing a mobile friendly site like Amazon on your phone is far more enjoyable than browsing one where you’re constantly zooming in on the screen to read the text.

The importance of having a mobile friendly website was boosted last year during Google induced ‘Mobileaggedon’, when they first was announced mobile friendly websites would be favoured in their search rankings. The news sparked a frenzy among developers at large companies, especially online retailers, as they were determined not miss out on traffic to their websites once the change took effect.

 

A year on from Mobileageddon

Unfortunately, it’s the smaller businesses that have been left behind and in September last year research from RBC capital reported that while there had been a 13% increase in mobile friendly websites over all, only 24.2% of small businesses had a mobile optimised website. It appears those within the Financial Services sector have been hit the hardest in loss of traffic.

With an update to the mobile friendly algorithm on Google set to take effect this month, it’s time to get your website up to scratch on mobile, once and for all.

 

Mobile friendly web design and development

Developing websites using responsive web design (RWD) is the best way to deliver a good experience on all devices, including mobile and that’s the practice we adopt here are Eight Arms. This means the website lives on the same URL and uses the same code but scales to best acclimatise across the different devices and their screen sizes. We can then pay special attention to the little details and how they render on mobile such as bullet points, buttons and images, all of which make a BIG difference to the user experience.

Performance is equally as important as looks with slow load times being the main reason users abandon a site on their mobile. Therefore, performance should be top of mind throughout the design and development process.

Common themes among best practice mobile websites include:

  • Clean and ordered content with simple navigation and a hamburger style menu in the top left or right that slides out on touch.
  • Clear calls to action that facilitate quick navigation through the site.
  • A long scroll with content stacked in bite-sized pieces.
  • Highly visual content with image and/or video galleries and sliders.
  • Large buttons and entry fields when user input is required – taking into account finger chubbiness, AKA sausage fingers.
  • A clear step-by-step approach to process, especially when it comes to e-commerce checkouts.
  • Easy sharing functions, allowing users to share your site/product/article in as few steps as possible.
  • Snappy load times that aren’t in danger of eating up users’ monthly data allowance or have them leave before the page even loads!

So, take a deep breathe and enter your URL here to find out just how mobile friendly your website is. If the result is a little scary, we’re here to help!