It’s hard to think back to the age before smart phones; bus rides permeated by mere mp3 players and newspapers, periods of waiting distinctly lacking any form or boredom-reducing respite, research only ever conducted through a PC or laptop; it was normality, but compared to today it was a positively backward period.
Nowadays one can access the billions of pages and trillions of characters available on the internet from wherever they are, at any time they wish. Still, though, companies are coming to terms with optimising their websites and services for the mobile realm, often forgetting the imperatives concerning mobile site design.
The primary manner in which users will access the different areas of your mobile site is through the various buttons, menus and other navigational items that make up a website. The key here is to keep things basic and instantly understandable. Keep important calls-to-action (sign in, yes, no, accept etc) in areas where you know the user will easily see them, in the front and centre of the page. Menus must also be easily navigated; though desktop sites can easily utilise a glut of menu options, mobile sites’ menus must be short and quickly scrollable. If you have a lot of options to choose from compartmentalising the details within sub menus could be a useful option.
The search menu should be seen as an instant portal to the information on a site and treated thusly. Search boxes should be instantly visible; on desktops, trying to find the search box is a tedious task- imagine not being able to find one on a simplified mobile site. Next make sure results are relevant, putting the strongest results first and using features such as autocomplete and autocorrect to speed up the customers’ experience.
The images, buttons, text; everything in your site must be optimised to require the smallest amount of data to be sent to your site. A customer using the site the first time may check how much data was used to access said site; if this is a rather tall figure, they may simply choose to shun the site! Online gaming sites such as springbokcasino have been early adopters of this way of designing sites; through using low-bit animations, small page sizes and uncluttered, basic stylings, customers have been able to play without having to constantly think about reaching their data limit.
To really make a visit to your mobile site a sleek, user friendly experience, think about paying for and adding some plugins. TouchSwipe adds features such as swipe, pinch, zoom and scroll; great for smart phones; and plugins that allow for site-personalised keyboards are all options- these will make your site appear professional compared to competitors.