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Responsive Designs: How to Optimise your Website for Mobile Users

22/01/2015
Rob
Rob

Have you thought about what your website looks like to mobile users? The fact is that a mobile-optimised website is completely different to a desktop website to incorporate things such as the screen size, visibility of different site elements and easy usability. With an estimated 74% mobile users interacting with your site this year, your website needs to be responsive. People using mobile devices to browse your website are not expecting the same as if they were using a desktop. Instead, they are more likely to be looking for specifics such as your contact details, address or other key details. They won’t be looking for long copy about your background, staff members or company ethos.

Don’t overload your audience with information

Part of the skill to designing an effective mobile site is choosing which information you should include. Think about the popular things that your audience will be looking for and select these over other elements. For example on your “Contact Us” page, they will be searching more for your contact details such as your phone number, address and email contact instead of wanting to fill in a long form with many different fields to complete.

Mobile users need information quickly. Videos and interactive content work much better than text content.

Modify your layout

As well as each page layout, consider the layout of your whole site and how easily users can navigate. Use only a minimum number of pages, as mobile users won’t want to go through a large number to find what they are looking for. Take a streamlined approach, giving a few simple options only. You can also develop an app to optimise your content even further. Find out more about How Mobile App Development Could Help Small Businesses Grow http://www.geeks.ltd.uk/blog/How-Mobile-App-Development-Could-Help-Small-Businesses-Grow.html.

Space it out

Use white (empty) space to give a crisp appearance to your mobile site. By spreading elements out, you give the mobile user a site that is easy to read and use, buttons that are easy to click on and a site which looks elegant and well-designed. To minimise what you need to display, consider drop-down menus with added options. This will make your website appear cleaner but still contain the necessary information.

Be consistent across all of your platforms

Despite your entirely different layout and design, keep your theme and branding elements such as logo and colour scheme the same as on your desktop website. Your mobile site should always reflect your brand, and give the same impression to customers who already know you. It will help promote your business through different platforms consistently, and familiar users will link both together in their mind.

Link to your desktop site

A responsive, mobile-optimised site should ultimately give users the chance to view your website as the original desktop version. Even though this may make it harder for them to use it, they may prefer to use the full version rather than the mobile-optimised version that they have been automatically directed to. Be careful of using tricky elements such as Flash and Java, which are not supported by any Apple products. With 30% of the smartphone market dominated by Apple, it is important to consider using alternatives in order to make sure that your audience can always access your content. HTML 5.0 is a much better solution for moving elements.

For advice about developing a responsive, mobile friendly website get in touch with the Geeks today on  0845 643 6229.

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