Over the years, we’ve noticed a trend with the creative types. Creatives love the newest technology, the newest gadgets. So when its time to design new sites, they head to the latest design tools to get the most WOW they can.
We’ve taken the opposite approach. Yes, we always make sure our sites are professional looking and can pass the “acceptable” test when people enter our sites for the first time. But beyond that, we never want to chase away a potential customer because they don’t have the appropriate tools downloaded to their computers. Our goal is to be able to easily reach virtually anyone in our target audience, any where in the world.
In today’s world, there are massive technological shifts almost on a daily basis. And all you have to do is open up a newspaper (if you still receive one) or turn on the television to know the latest technology is smart – phone and tablet format that is.
Statistics show there are 2.3 billion people now connected to the Internet on a global basis. 1.1 billion of them are 3G subscribers. Almost 30 percent of all US adults now own a tablet (a figure that is likely to increase drastically here in the next month). And nearly 50 percent of your audience is using mobile as their primary Internet access device.
Which means if you are stuck in the web design world of thinking only from a laptop or desktop application, you are missing out from connecting with almost half of your potential customers.
Many designers today will offer you a web design along with a conversion to mobile application. In other words, they’ll give you a graphically pleasing site if you view it with traditional technology, but when you simply convert the same look and feel to a mobile device, it’s anything but user friendly.
There are distinct differences between the two. And if you don’t design with your mobile visitor in mind, you may be losing business. Here are a few tips to help you think from a mobile perspective.
Keep It Simple
If you use your mobile device regularly, think about what you like in a site. Chances are its something quick, simple and easy to navigate. Mobile users don’t want to spend minutes finding the right content. They want things easy. They don’t want lots of buttons and options. They want relevant information in an easy to get to fashion.
Include information like phone numbers, addresses, maps, coupons, one line descriptions and headlines – just enough to give your viewer what they are looking for, and providing them the option to click and dig deeper if they so desire.
Load Times Are Important
When you’re sitting at your desk and a site takes seconds to load, you probably click out and move on. On a mobile device, timing decreases drastically. The last thing someone wants to do is sit around for seconds at a time waiting while things load. The more instant your site is, the more response you will receive.
Touch Is The New Click
On your desktop or laptop, your mouse is your primary device. On smart technology, your finger is your primary device.
If you’ve ever tried to hit a tiny navigation button with your finger, you know the trouble it can cause. And if a visitor continually struggles to click on the information they want, they may give up altogether. Think finger size, and increase your clickable items to give people the ease and comfort to move exactly where they desire.
iPhones Don’t Rule The World
I love my Macs, iPhones, and iPads. Its what I prefer. But I’ve had lots of comments along the way from people that avoid Apple products like the plague – they love their Android devices.
Whatever you prefer to work on and with, just remember this is an ever-growing, ever-changing market right now. The more accessible you make your content for every type of smart technology out there, they more you’ll see your business grow. Make sure your content works flawlessly on devices with all size screens and platforms and operating systems, including iOS, Android, Blackberry, Nokia and even Opera.
Don’t forget to automatically redirect your mobile visitors to your mobile website. Your webmaster can easily do this by creating a subdomain of your website – typically m.yoursite.com or mobile.yoursite.com – which will act as your mobile site. Your visitors should never have to think.
Test and Track
As your site continues to grow and your traffic comes from a variety of places, it’s a good idea to keep track of where it is coming from. Use Google Analytics and separate out your traditional site from your mobile site. Find out where each set of visitors comes from and goes, test various things, and change accordingly.