In Creating Intuitive Navigation on Your Website, I focused on a really important aspect of creating solid usability on your website, and that is having intuitive, effective navigation.
But there are also a variety of other key steps to take to ensure you’re creating the best possible website experience for potential and current customers.
This includes providing a solid mobile experience for your website visitors.
What is a user-friendly website?
Your website’s usability or user experience comes down to how your website visitor perceives the experience of using your website.
It’s the art of making your website simple and easy to use and the research shows that it’s the most important factor in a website.
Specifically, HubSpot reported that:
76% of consumers say the most important factor in a website’s design is “the website makes it easy for me to find what I want.”
You don’t want to be doing anything that will run counter to that goal.
Most of the websites I see these days are mobile-friendly, but I still come across sites that are not mobile responsive.
For a website to be user-friendly, it has to be mobile-friendly as well.
You must always think about the mobile experience for your visitors.
Many business owners still design their websites based on how it looks on a standard desktop browser.
However, given the number of your ideal customers who are browsing the internet on mobile devices, it’s important to prioritize the mobile experience.
Did You Know?
- 66% of e-commerce time is being consumed on smartphones (Internet Retailer)
- Google reports that 40% of mobile consumers turned to a competitor’s website after an unsatisfactory mobile Web experience, and 57% wouldn’t recommend a business with a bad mobile website.
- 71% of mobile searchers expect mobile site pages to load as fast or faster than desktop (Hubspot)
What is mobile responsiveness?
You’re likely familiar with what a responsive website is. In a nutshell, it is a website that has been designed to adapt based on the device that is being used to display it.
It appears one way on a regular desktop browser, it adapts and displays differently on a tablet, and it adapts again for a mobile device.
Mobile responsiveness is essentially an approach where a website is created thinking of the desktop version first. Then the site layout is scaled down to allow it to be browsed on a tablet. Then it is scaled down even further for browsing on mobile phones.
What is mobile-first?
Whereas mobile-first is not a technical approach so much as it is a design strategy.
Instead of designing for a desktop-first and scaling it down for smaller devices, with mobile-first, you design a website for the smallest device possible. Then, you adapt to desktop computers by scaling upwards.
I’m not advising you to throw away the website you have and immediately hire a design agency to build you a mobile-first website.
That said, you have to stop thinking about your website’s mobile experience as an afterthought. Instead, think about the mobile experience first or at least as much as you consider the desktop experience.
the mobile experience
Your website visitors will be searching for information on a mobile device, so consider how you can best serve up to them the content they’re seeking. Your website should make it easy for them to engage with your brand.
Optimize your content for reading on mobile devices.
Having short sentences and paragraphs, and using headings and bullet points is going to be important for readability on a mobile device.
Understand that people won’t be clicking on a link with a mouse or track pad. Rather, they’re going to be clicking on links with their finger, so using buttons for calls to action is important.
Don’t include a million questions in a contact form that has to be zoomed into in order to use. Also don’t only look at your forms on your desktop – make sure they’re easy to use on a mobile phone as well.
Review Your Site on Mobile
If you haven’t done so lately, pick up a mobile device and browse your website from a customer’s perspective. Try to accomplish on your website what you want your potential customers to do.
Perhaps that’s signing up for your email list, booking a consulting call or buying a product. If you begin to experience frustration, you have a problem to fix.
If you’re feeling frustrated by your own website, a prospective customer will feel they same.