If not, why not?!
Type in to any search engine “how many people own a smartphone/mobile/tablet?” and you will get a whole heap of information, the statistics of which make the mind boggle. Depending on where you look, headlines and statistics will leap out at you…
“By 2014, there will 1.75 billion smart phone users”
“1 in every 5 people across the globe now own a smartphone”
“7 out of 10 people in the UK own a smart phone”
“Two thirds of Americans have a smart phone or tablet”
“Smart phone global sales increase by 25% in 2014!”
We could on and on but what is our point?
Statistics, data, analysis, research and studies all point to one thing; the way that people (your customers) are accessing the Internet is changing. Not everyone is sitting in a comfy office chair, stationed at a desk. They are more likely to be curled up on the sofa, with cup of tea in hand, half watching the TV and half surfing the web, either on a mobile phone or a tablet.
Nearly 50% of your audience will be using a smart phone as their primary internet access device.
Not all websites are mobile friendly. Fact.
If your company website was created within the last few years – and you still think it modern – you may be surprised to find that it is not fully optimised to be viewed, successfully, on a smart phone, android or apple, or a tablet.
So, creating a mobile optimised is about creating a mini version of your main website? Er… no.
It is about making sure that it ‘fits’ with what your mobile user wants, rather than shoe-horning the website from a shoe box in to a match box. Websites can be optimised for mobile devices but, we have come across several key design practices…
Simplicity is Key
Trying to cram everything onto a smaller screen than a laptop is sheer folly; it will look too busy, there will be no white space on which your peripheral vision can rest and users will simply navigate away. It should be a simplified version of what is on your main site, with a link to your website included for users who may want to take a deeper look at what you have to offer.
Think of it as giving the headlines, rather than the whole article…
WHITE SPACE: a known ‘trick’ in the world of design, this is where the use of white space around articles, graphics etc. allows the eye to rest, rather than being bombarded with too much text and information. It allows the eye to ‘see’ the shapes of words and content and makes for a tidier, more organised appearance.
That is really all you have for your mobile optimised version to load. We are an impatient lot and research has found that 58% of smart phone users expect websites to load quickly – they expect your website to load faster on their mobile device that when they access it on their PC or laptop.
So, check that your graphics are not making the loading process slow and cumbersome.
On one hand, the use of flash-based videos etc. may add a certain something to your desktop website but, for mobile users it makes the loading time on their mobile device s-l-o-w. You will also need to check that images and other graphics are also set to resize automatically to fit the smaller screen of a smartphone.
Touch rather than click
Smart phones are now touch sensitive and it is the way that the majority of users now expect their experience to be on a smart phone and other mobile devices. Think ‘click’ on the laptop, but ‘touch’ on the mobile!
Hence, your mobile-ready website needs to incorporate these changes. If you have a form for example, try to make it as simple as possible, with pre-filled boxes and questions that only need a touch of the screen to answer them.
Drop down menus work well in helping the user on a mobile device to navigate effectively and quickly around your website. Organisation of information is key in a website ready for smart phone users.
Re-direct mobile users automatically
You have probably come across this yourself and can be done on your website but basically, it is possible – in the darkest vaults on online technology – for your website to detect from which device customers are accessing your website from and can, re-direct them to the easier to use website for mobile user automatically.
There are also online programs and applications that can also track users of your mobile-ready website and we suggest that tracking your mobile website users is imperative for understanding how your customer behave differently (if at all!) when they access your mobile website, compared to your desktop site.
Mobile is growing at a fantastic pace, in terms of both usage and screen size! Is your website ready for this gentle revolution…?
Google Analytics recently released some interesting statistics that showed there were a huge number of websites that contained errors that made the mobile-version of their website either unreadable or ‘unloadable’. Ease of navigation, as well as making sure text is readable and not too small, are just two essential key elements that Google is looking for. Be warned that if your website is not mobile ready, it may start dropping down the rankings…
The future? Undoubtedly.
There are loads of articles and forum discussion out there in Internet Land that talk about pros and cons of the how and why mobile ready websites are a must for 2014. WordPress websites are also ripe for mobile-friendly devices – take a look https://www.wpexplorer.com/mobile-optimization-tips-wordpress/