Is 5 inches enough?

Let’s cut to the chase – It’s already a mobile world with more people browsing the web via a smartphone than traditional desktops and laptops. Google is ‘mobile’ obsessed. Their search algorithms reward mobile friendly sites that load fast and offer an engaging user experience. Digital agencies are also obsessed with explaining this to clients and waxing lyrical about responsiveness, optimisation and SEO.

This means your website’s window to the world will probable be a 5 inch screen driven by a smartphone that will be affected by signal, processing power and battery life. If the website takes too long to load or the user cannot easily find the answers to their search query, mobile users are bound to leave the site.

So why do we primarily design websites at desktop screen size and then look for a responsive solution that will work on smartphones and tablets? Why are the agencies not presenting their proposed website designs through the medium that the majority of potential customers will use when viewing your site?

It’s time to design for mobile
Your website must be designed for, and focus on, delivering the best user experience for a mobile platform and include relevant and compelling content, easy to follow navigation and quick load times. These elements must fuse together to help the user find the answers they are looking for easily and quickly. Top design tips include;

  • Easy to read content without the user having to zoom.
  • Only use vertical scrolling as horizontal scrolling is not a natural movement on a mobile.
  • Intuitive navigation that speeds up the displaying of content.
  • Submission forms such as a request for further information should be short and sweet since users are often in a hurry.
  • Avoid plug-ins as they may not be supported on all mobile platforms and you run the risk of security issues and device crashes.
  • Use smaller image sizes and lower optimum quality videos as this will speed up your site.
  • WordPress is the benchmark for websites and this free and open source software is used by most agencies. WordPress templates are responsive and can adapt to any device and resolution. However, agencies are still designing at full size resolution and leaving the template’s responsiveness to achieve the best fit for mobile. The converse is the correct approach – designing your site primarily for mobile and then look for the best fit for desktop.

    Mobile focused design and content is the only way forward as more and more consumers decide that 5 inches is all they need

    About the Author:

    Alan Golden is the CEO of the digital marketing solutions agency Africa Analytics.
    Africa Analytics use their extensive knowledge of South Africa’s motor dealer industry to deliver websites that work and cost effective SEO and digital advertising campaigns that produce results.

    www.AfricaAnalytics.co.za
    Twitter: @AskAlanNow