As of 2014, the number of mobile devices had exceeded that of the entire human population. Research showed that mobile devices were growing at a rate five times that of the human population. By 2017, more than 52% of the global web traffic was thanks to mobile.
Google eventually came to terms with the growing trend. They made mobile-friendliness a ranking signal for websites. This caused a huge disruption as websites that were previously ranking well started to fall off SERPs. This was simply because they were not mobile-friendly.
People use mobile devices for lots of reasons today. They use them to shop, connect with family, surf the net for news, chat with friends on social networks, and so much more. This makes providing a great experience online a major priority for developers. One of the ways they can do this is to make sure that their websites and applications are easy to view and use.
Achieving this can be hard because tablets and mobile devices come with different resolutions and sizes. Finding a design that perfectly fits all formats is tricky. However, it can be achieved through responsive web design. This helps you create a responsive and attractive site that will ensure your visitors have a great experience across the board.
Below are 7 key tips that will help you design a mobile-friendly website:
- Use Responsive Technology Frameworks
There are several responsive frameworks available for developers. They provide ways of laying elements in grid so that they are appropriately placed. This applies whether it’s on a mobile device or a large monitor. It allows you to provide a similar experience to your web visitors when they access your site from different devices. Popular frameworks such as Foundation and Bootstrap make it easy to design quick front-end and back-end user interfaces. They are automatically built to be mobile-first and do not require much work.
- Make Speed a Priority
As of July 2018, Google made website loading speed a ranking factor. This made it a major player in determining SEO and user experience. It’s highly important that you optimize your site for maximum page speed. There are 4 different techniques that you can adopt to enhance your website’s performance. First, install a caching plugin such as WP Super Cache if on WordPress. Second, set up a free CDN that delivers content depending on your visitor’s geolocation. Third, minimize your images for smaller screens and adopt lazy-loading to prevent slowing the page as images appear. Lastly, install an SSL certificate to get your website to a secure HTTPS protocol.
- Maintain a Simple Design
Most of the time, you only have a few seconds to showcase what your company is about. This can be done through focused copy, a clean web design, and the right Bootstrap templates. Too many videos, graphics, and a copy can prevent your website’s ability to deliver the company’s message. Besides, they can slow its loading speed, meaning that users have to wait for pages to load. Simplicity in design helps to keep the attention of your visitors focused on the content they need to see. People have grown to have shorter attention spans. Therefore, having a complex theme that is too elaborate can increase your bounce rate.
Java is one of the most widely used systems on the internet today. Combined with image files and CSS, it provides the best and most responsive mobile-friendly sites. The main goal for any website developer is to ensure that their site is compatible everywhere. It should easily display everything effectively on any device visitors choose to use. This makes it essential for developers to use coding and software that is accepted universally. Software that is too specialized could hurt the performance of a website in the long-run.
- Simplify Interactions and Navigation
Navigation provides direction for visitors as they try to get to other webpages on your site. The desktop version will normally have a visible navigation bar that has links to all the pages within the site. Mobile devices, however, normally use the hamburger icon to show that there are hidden links behind the icon. Some users may not be able to realize that they need to reveal the menu by clicking the icon. This could leave them frustrated as they can’t get access to other pages. The best thing to do is to leave the most important links visible. Also, ensure that your website is optimized for swipes, interactive buttons, and other mobile interactions.
- Use Video, but Wisely
According to research, consumers that use mobile devices are likely to watch a video three times as much as desktop/laptop users. This makes it a must-have for mobile sites. The best way to adopt video is to use technology that does not hamper navigation on mobile devices. The video player should be able to run HTML5 to allow it to play on the majority of mobile devices. It shouldn’t consume a lot of processing resources and valuable bandwidth. This provides a better overall experience and ensures that your pages are loading fast.
- Test and Make Improvements
Test your web design on different types of platforms, browsers, and devices to make sure it’s just right. A huge majority of users have moved to modern browsers. However, 3% of people still browse the web using Internet Explorer. As a website owner, you do not want to miss out on anyone. Your site should be as attractive on an outdated Android phone as it would be on the latest version of the iPhone. Carry out regular tests to find out whether it’s still responsive.
There are different methods designers use to come up with the perfect website design. Amidst all these methods are standard approaches that ensure websites are mobile-friendly. These approaches involve using the right frameworks, coming up with the right design, and ensuring that your users get the very best online experience. They also help developers and designers to come up with an easy way to achieve efficiency, excellent functionality, dynamic features, modern design, and mobile-friendliness for their websites.