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How to design a great mobile website

Posted by James Greig on 16 August 2013
How to design a great mobile website
As more and more people have access to the internet on the go, it pays to tailor your site with mobile devices in mind.  In fact the statistics show, that if the trend continues more people will be viewing your website via a mobile device than desktop or laptops.

Give the users what they want

People who use the internet on the go are typically looking for specific information – and they want it quickly. User behaviour through studies have shown that once on a mobile phone your website visitors act differently. They want to find what they are looking for and take action easily without needing to stretch their screen. Typically they want to know how to find you (get your mobile website to interact with their phones GPS), make it easy for them to call you (again with one click and the phone rings), and search your website and browse the menu.  To acheive this, your mobile website needs to be different to your normal desktop  website.

Minimise content

While sites with long articles that regularly get shared should try to keep their work intact for those with smaller devices, for most other businesses it pays to trim pages and sections. The attention span of users on a phone is shorter than for computer users, so it's worth getting to the main points quicker. Think of it as an elevator pitch rather than a lengthy discussion. Your mobile website should be able to be managed through the same Content Managment System (CMS) as your desktop website, with the option to use the same content or change certain pages to adjust to the different medium.

Having said this, there are instances when someone will need access to your full site, so always include a link to the complete site at the bottom of each page.

Technical details

To make your site perform well on a phone there are a number of technical considerations. The first is that your site should automatically recognise when a mobile phone is being used to access it so the user can be redirected to a mobile version. You also need to think about elements like screen resolution, making buttons and links bigger than normal and removing some features, such as Flash, that do not work on most smartphones.

Mobile internet access is now a huge part of your customer’s everyday life. As such, any business with an online presence should think carefully about having a thumb  friendly mobile website for their business.

Go here to find out more about Bloomtools Mobile websites (as a standalone, or integrated with your website)

Author: James Greig
About: James is the founder of Bloomtools and the software and Internet expert on the Executive Team. With a degree in Advanced Information Technology, specialising in Computer Science and Interactive Development, James founded the software development arm of Bloomtools in 2004.
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