How to maximize your online mobile presence
During 2013, the number of internet-connected mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, will exceed the number of desktop and laptop personal computers in use. The number of U.S. consumers with a smartphone will more than double from 93.1 million at the end of 2011 to 192.4 million by 2016, estimates eMarketer.
While this does not mean that mobile devices will displace PCs altogether, the rise of mobile phones with more powerful and usable touch screens require companies to keep their users mobile experience closely linked to their brands. The web trend is not to develop new apps for your business, which require app approval processes and numerous updates, but to develop mobile sites and web applications that provide excellent user experiences across all devices and mobile browsers for your clients and prospects.
In order to develop mobile friendly websites that will benefit your business, it’s essential to keep these factors in mind while designing your mobile website:
Keep it simple
Your mobile site should focus on a singular concept and should be executed perfectly to accomplish that concept. Whether it’s lead generation, ecommerce or providing streaming content, your mobile site should quickly communicate your company’s value in a compelling way for your mobile site to succeed or not.
Design first, then development
Your mobile website has to have a great user-interface design if you want your customers to interact with your website. While your development and programming is the foundation of your mobile website, the design of the website will determine if your mobile site will succeed.
Development next…don’t forget
While designing a beautiful and user-friendly mobile website, your developers are instrumental to incorporating a mobile website that performs on underpowered mobile devices, compared to traditional desktop and laptop computers. Make sure that your design is extraordinary, and keep in mind the realities of what can be accomplished on mobile devices.
Successful mobile sites address function over form
Users view mobile sites for specific needs (news, entertainment, productivity and communication). It’s essential that your mobile site facilitates the functional requirements of your site. The most beautifully designed mobile site will falter if there is a confusing user interface or poor performance leading to lower user trust of your product or service.
Optimize your design to offset lower performance
Regardless of how well your mobile website is implemented, the mobile web environment is not always reliable. There are numerous factors (carriers, locations, devices) that affect your mobile web performance. It is essential to identify areas that may suffer from lower performing phones or service areas, and design your mobile site to minimize the user performance impact of a slowdown. Loading screens are an example where load imagery, like progress bars, can be used to give the impression that performance or progress is being made independently of the actual performance of the site.
Performance, performance, performance
With over 800,000 iOS apps and Android apps respectively as well as 4 million plus mobile-optimized websites, performance is not only necessary but the best way to stand out amongst your competition. Users have little to no patience with slow performance but greatly appreciate mobile websites that help them accomplish their browsing goals.
Find a happy medium between design priorities and performance requirements
Your mobile site must look great, perform well and provide immediate user value on smartphones. Doing this effectively isn’t easy as it requires a blending of design and development that both inform and work together to provide a beneficial user experience. Lacking in design will turn away people looking for technically efficient mobile sites, and great design is irrelevant if it’s founded on a weak development foundation. The ultimate success in your mobile website is finding a balance between the two.
Only build an app for what your mobile site can’t do
Mobile apps are great, when they accomplish things your mobile site cannot do. However, it does not make sense to build a mobile app to accomplish the same tasks your mobile website can accomplish. Mobile apps require a large investment of resources and lock development and design into the original development environment, and involves outside interests including carriers, device manufacturers, developers and numerous others. Mobile sites avoid all these headaches and can be implemented much more quickly.
Brand your Mobile Identity
When your users visit your mobile website, they are usually thinking about it on the go. They do not plan on spending too much time on your mobile site so brand awareness is essential for mobile viewing to increase user recognition, enhance user loyalty and ultimately provide a high level of user satisfaction. Focus on your firm’s brand fonts and text, use visual language and incorporate any core elements of your brand that your users associate with your company.
Who’s using your site and where are they using it?
Mobile websites are used by an audience that is out in the real world and not sitting at home or at work. Interaction on your mobile site will be done when your customers are considering your services either nearby your location, or while they’re perusing your competition in the real world. Design your mobile site with distinct user profiles in mind as well as the environments they will be accessing your mobile site.
Designing a mobile friendly website is a technical but straightforward experience. If your website is not responsive to all mobile devices or if you are interested in incorporating a mobile friendly website to accompany your main business website, contact iGenMedia.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have regarding this information or our services. We would like to hear from you and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your business specific needs. Please visit our website at iGenMedia.com or call our offices at 630 930 0900.