Mobile First – What makes a good mobile site? How can you design a good mobile site?

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1 minute read / News

Hopefully you are well aware of the coming of Mobile First Indexing, where priority is given to sites which optimise for mobile…first. Mobile users are goal-oriented and want results quickly, so if you can optimise your site to provide speedy results, your customers can swiftly get what they need – and are more likely to return.

So, how can you build a good mobile site?

Use a responsive layout

Ensure the entire site is built to appear just as well on a mobile screen as it does on a desktop. Directing mobile clients to a different URL can dilute the value of your SEO optimisation. Keep to a single site, and prevent the option of ‘full site’ or ‘mobile site’; the phrasing ‘full’ will make people feel like they are getting a lesser experience by heading to the mobile site (and they may therefore opt for the full site, getting a lesser experience). Responsive design means incorporating some functionality into your site, without needing to resort to a separate mobile site. Google also prefers the single URL.

Simplicity is key

  • Keep menus short. Scrolling menus are difficult on mobiles, and customers want efficient access, so prioritise usability over endless lists. The navigation layout should be one of your highest priorities.
  • Keep your loading speed low by using single images or employing ‘lazy loading’ tactics. DO opt for high res images; they need to work on desktop too!
  • Keep core content the same, but when creating the whole site, focus on short and sweet within all aspects.

User experience

Limit excess information to focus user experience. Keep users in a single browser window and don’t overcomplicate the process by making them jump back and forth. Resist any elements that might require ‘pinching’; you can make products zoomable, but otherwise stick to either thumb or finger movements. Font size and button size matter too – either look to responsive sizing, or look to something that will be visually accessible alongside the style of your site.

Test, test, and test again

Check the site on different devices, not just the device that you have. Don’t over think it – and work towards the main device sets that your audience are likely to be using. Test different platforms and operating systems to prepare for different access routes; can you link from social platforms?

Ensure you test the user journey, not just whether the site is functional. Ask for a pair of fresh eyes to go over the site with a purpose in mind, and see if they can swiftly find what they are searching for to understand if your site layout is intuitive.

Ultimately, a good mobile site is one that users WANT to use.  Create something that they enjoy, and they will come back. Want us to create something they’ll enjoy? We’re good at that… Give us a shout.

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