We’ve all heard it: the world is going mobile. If you’ve still yet to build a mobile-friendly or responsive version of your website, then your business could be at risk of losing customers. Mobile optimization, if not already addressed, should therefore be a #1 priority for companies with an online presence. Even if you do have a mobile website, it’s worth checking to make sure that the user experience (UX) is optimal, since the medium is always evolving. Does your mobile UX hold up to scrutiny? Here are 7 things to analyze and improve.
Is it accessible?
When designing a mobile website or app for your business, one of the very first things to consider is accessibility. Keep in mind that many people choose to browse the web on their mobiles because it’s quicker and more convenient than using a desktop. Clicking and scrolling, while natural on a desktop, can become frustrating on a mobile device, so it’s all about minimizing the amount of work for the user and displaying all of the important stuff front and center.
When it comes to your content, try to group information as intuitively as possible. Ensure that navigation is simple and straightforward – complicated menus and drop-downs can be a turnoff when viewing a website on a small screen. Minimize your menu so it’s clean and easy to find what you’re looking for. Remember also that when it comes to icons, such as the popular hamburger menu icon, not all users will know what they mean. Clarity is of particular importance in mobile apps for seniors, who may be less digitally savvy.
Is it minimal?
Maybe you love rainbow colors, and perhaps they look lovely on your website when viewed on a desktop. However, some would argue that we need to make the web a less colorful place, particularly when it comes to mobile. I’m not saying you need to go full monochrome, but in general, one or two accent colors tends to look more sleek and professional than a dazzling array of vibrant shades.
There’s a lot to be said for minimal web design. As Minh D. Tran once said: “great design is eliminating all unnecessary details”. With a restrained approach to color and clutter, you will find your mobile website becomes much more appealing. If you don’t believe me, check out these 20 stunning examples of minimal mobile UI design.
Is the call to action clear?
This one is very important. What exactly do you want users to do when they arrive – via mobile – to your website? Remember, they are looking for the easiest route to get what they want, so don’t make them go around in circles if you want them to convert. A simple CTA button clearly displayed on the landing page, whether that’s ‘call now’ or ‘get a quote’, makes it easy to reach the next step.
As for what else you need on your landing page, it’s time to get a little ruthless. What is the most striking element of your website that’s likely to make an impact with your users? A video, animation, or special offer perhaps? Your best content should be the first thing your users see.
A good tip is to display your call to action in a separate color to the rest of the page, so it stands out immediately. Keep everything else in line with the theme of your site. A bright red ad banner may alert users to a sale, but actually draw them away from the primary CTA you want them to follow. In this case, a dismissable pop-up notice may be preferable.
Is it easy to use?
Having said that, overuse of pop-up signup forms the second you land on a website can be a major deterrent for users, so if you’re going to use one, it’s important to handle with care. According to SEO Hacker, 86% of users feel bothered when they’re prompted to create new accounts on websites, and 92% left a website login page instead of resetting or recovering login information. In summary, users hate filling out forms.
So instead of asking users to signup straight away, consider giving them a reason to do so, such as giving them time to browse your content. Show them the value of your product, service, or platform. And when you do finally present users with a form, keep that form as short and simple as possible. If you are able to utilize a social login feature rather than manual signup, all the better.
Is it responsive?
Responsive design is the gold standard for web design, and is generally a far better option than having separate websites for desktop and mobile. With responsive design, you have one website that seamlessly resizes itself according to the device it’s being viewed on. And since mobile traffic has now overtaken desktop traffic, you certainly don’t want the mobile-view version of your website to be tacked on as an afterthought.
Studies tell us that a responsive website boosts conversion rates compared to an edited-down version of a desktop website. In fact, many web developers now take a mobile-first approach to design. The bottom line is that your website needs to look just as good (if not better) on a mobile as it does on a computer. Even without the luxury of a web designer, ecommerce solutions like Shopify offer free and premium mobile-friendly, responsive website templates. Particularly if you’re working with a smaller budget, responsive templates can be an effective solution.
Is it legible?
A small but important point to cover is the size and font of your mobile content. The last thing you want is for your users to struggle to read the words on your website. Instead, you need easily legible text that doesn’t force the reader to zoom in. If you’re already using a design template, this will probably be preset and you won’t have to worry about it. If not, ensure that your text is big enough (around 14 point) and use a simple, non-stylized font that will be easy to read without squinting. Here’s a guide to choosing the right font for small screens.
Is it tested?
Ultimately, the best way to determine what’s working for you and what’s not is with split testing. Arguably, there is no ‘right’ way to display a mobile website – it’s all about experimentation to see what your users respond well to.
Speed testing is something you need to absolutely get on board with, as a slow mobile experience is very damaging to conversions. Your website speed could come down to a number of factors, from hosting and web development, to image optimization and video. The best place to start with speed optimization is to review your mobile UX — here are some key ways to speed up your mobile UX through design and development choices.
From how you display and organize your menu, to the color and copy you use for your CTA, even small changes can have a big impact. With web design, it really is best to make decisions based on data, rather than just personal preference. Never tried split testing before? Here’s how to create A/B campaigns for mobile-enabled and responsive websites.
For a number of reasons, designing the perfect mobile user experience can be tricky to execute. It’s more than a case of simply ‘going responsive’; there is manual work to be done too if you’re aiming for optimal. Even tiny details count. In summary, my advice would be to simplify, simplify, simplify. Go for clarity over vanity, every time. What are your experiences of optimizing websites for mobile traffic? Share your stories in the comments.
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer
I work with digital businesses & marketing teams to create content and social media strategies. Time and time again, I’ve seen the impact that UX has on ecommerce conversions. Here to share my experiences with others.