A mobile-friendly website is a regular website that is built to be viewed on a mobile device without losing any of the sites’ features, content, and quality. This can be a regular website that has added functionality that enables shrinking of the content to adapt to the display on a mobile device or a site that is created for mobile devices first
Mobile friendly sites have become a pre-requisite to businesses with statistics collected from global research showing that internet usage on the mobile platform will exceed the internet usage on the desktop environment in a few years.
Mobile sites provide a new dynamic and nearly perfect platform to promote a business brand to a large and increasing group of users worldwide.
In April 2015, Google made changes in their search algorithms for mobile devices, which ensures that only the mobile-friendly sites are shown in a search done through a mobile device.
The following are tips for building an effective mobile-friendly website:
Make the User Interface Pleasant and Interactive
The user interface should be made affable to give the user an aesthetic feel. You also have to provide interactive feedback that provides the user with an indication of what actions they are taking. For example, the use of a message that reads “kindly Wait” while the page or resource that a user requested for is taking longer than expected to load.
Opt For a Simple Design
Too many graphics and unnecessary colors make the site look too busy and makes it look sore to the user. That also slows the sites loading speeds and can easily disinterest and distract the user from the content. The navigation menu should also be minimized and can be hidden from the main screen. An icon can be used to open the menu when tapped. A simple, clean and focused design makes it easy for users to find the information they are looking for, saving on their time and enhancing fast and better decision making.
Consider Font and Button Size
The font size is very crucial in a site because it determines the readability of the content. A decent font size enhances better visibility thus better understanding of the material. Users prefer a font size they won’t have to zoom in to read. In most cases, they end up leaving the site disgruntled if they are struggling to see the text. Buttons should be big enough, to minimize the chances of the user hitting a wrong one. Using the correct size of both text and buttons significantly optimizes the user experience in the site, ensuing in improved conversions as compared to the opposite.
Use Icons in Place for Text
Conventional mobile icons and navigation buttons are used to replace text to help users make their selection without difficulties. Checklists, radio buttons and drop-down menus can also be employed as another creative alternative to icons. That declutters the site and gives an indication that the site is optimized for mobile devices.
Include a Link to the Full Site
Some of the content of a website might not be displayed on a mobile site. Some users also prefer the entire website, and therefore it is essential to add the “full site” or “Desktop Version” on the mobile site. Failure to include the option constrains the user from accessing more content.
Make the Site Fast
A mobile device is expected to be slower than a computer because of its limited memory. Therefore, a few changes are made to make a site faster on mobile. Adding few light media files, and replacing heavy scripting libraries like jQuery with standalone files saves on the amount of bandwidth and significantly enhances high speeds of loading of pages. That lessens the time a user spends finding the content of their desire, optimizing the experience.
Ensure the Site is Responsive
A responsive approach ensures the site can be entirely viewed on devices of various window sizes and orientation by adapting and resizing on the fly. This boosts the number of users accessing the site due to easy accessibility and convenience offered by availability across a variety of devices.
Add a Viewport Meta Tag
A viewport is used by a client browser to control how a sites’ content is scaled and sized. The meta tag is very critical in designing a multi-device website. It directs a mobile browser to fit a smaller screen to enhance the proper operation of a site on a mobile device. It’s therefore imperative to include the viewport meta tag at the head of the document.
Make the Content Short and Concise
The content should be straight to the point, engaging, and easy to understand. Use short paragraphs, sentences, and adequate headings to help the user get the information as quickly as possible.
Run Continuous Compatibility Tests
Unending tests should be conducted multiple times across a wide range of mobile operating systems, screen resolutions, mobile devices, and mobile web browsers to ensure perfect compatibility and performance of the website.