April 17, 2014
What Your Business Should Know About Mobile Web Design
With more than 5 billion mobile devices around the world, mobile traffic accounts for 30% of all Internet activity, and is expected to exceed desktop queries this year. Year-over-year mobile website traffic has increased by 78% and now accounts for nearly 25% of all website traffic, according to Google’s Matt Cutts. Mobile use now accounts for 12% of Americans’ media consumption time, which is triple its share in 2009. 4 out of 5 consumers use mobile not only to comparison shop, but also to make purchases, according to ComScore. It’s clear that mobile will only continue to grow, but is your website ready?
Mobile-friendly websites are essential to capitalizing on consumers’ increased reliance on everything from mobile search to shopping. It’s no surprise that Mashable declared 2013 the “Year of Responsive Web Design” – and 2014 looks to be no different. Here’s what your business should keep in mind:
Parallax looks best on desktops and can be optimized for mobile.
Parallax scrolling effect is one of the hottest trends in web design. This is where the background of our site is moving at a different rate than the content on the foreground. But despite the sleek, pretty interface of parallax design, it’s not optimal for mobile browsing because of the way mobile devices use touch scrolling. There are solutions like stellar.js, but it takes some tinkering to get it right.
In the last few years, web designers have increasingly shifted towards parallax as a way to guide visitors through a page and tell a story with visual uniqueness. This approach is preferable to dumping a long scrolling page of endless content on site visitors or expecting visitors to click through multiple pages, which can lead to increased bounce rates. Consequently, parallax proponents claim that this design style increases user engagement. If you love the visual functionality of parallax, you don’t have to ditch the design because that functionality doesn’t transfer to mobile – you just need to be smart about creating a mobile version of your site that utilizes responsive web design.
Responsive design is key for mobile viewing.
When a potential customer opens your site on their phone, chances are that they’ll immediately click away if they can’t read what’s on the screen, or they have to use their fingers to zoom in and out in order to navigate. As the name suggests, responsive web design literally “responds” to a device’s dimensions, changing the visual display to match screen size. There’s no zooming or pinching required to view site features on mobile; site content displays perfectly to match the screen view regardless of the tablet or smartphone’s orientation or display size. Site integrity is maintained by having content fluidly shift between one, two or three column displays.
Think about your mobile design and layout when crafting content.
Great mobile websites are successful for more reasons than just their design – these sites also feature content that is appropriate for mobile consumption. Yes, there’s a place for lengthy white papers and long blog posts. But as consumers and clients increasingly read your website content while waiting in line for their morning coffee, it’s important that it’s optimized for a mobile device reading experience, which is meant to be quicker than when you sit down at your computer. That can mean utilizing to-the point headlines, short graphs, subheads, bulleted or numbered lists, and always keeping the copy as concise as possible. This way, the reader will get to the information that they want faster, and are more likely to think of your site the next time they’re browsing on their phone.