Nearly 96 percent of Americans now own a cellphone. However, talking on the phone is no longer the primary activity. Users spend most of their time on apps, messaging services, and browsing. Mobile device usage has skyrocketed by 222% over the last seven years, surpassing desktop usage. More people are looking up their favorite products and businesses on their cell phone, while they’re on the go.
This surge in mobile device usage has caused digital marketing agencies to rethink web design and development. Here at Lucid, we have created a web development strategy specifically designed for mobile-friendly optimization. We understand your audience and how they use their phones and tablets to find your business. Below are some of our tips for how to make your website mobile-friendly. If you have any further questions, feel free to call and ask about our web development services.
Optimize the Images
Photos and images can weigh down a website due to the digital files’ sheer size. Too many high-definition images can slow web page load times, leading to viewer frustration. There are several ways to optimize images so that they are lighter on each web page.
- Resize images and use smaller images throughout the site instead of larger ones.
- Compress an image to a lower quality level since you don’t need super high-def on most sites.
- Choose the correct file format – preferably JPEG and PNG.
- ‘Lazy load’ all images in small groups as the viewer scrolls the page.
- Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver images faster in various locations globally.
By resizing and compressing your images, you can save as much as 50% image bandwidth, allowing your pages and images to load much faster on your mobile device.
Avoid Using Flash
Effective December 2020, nearly every web browser worldwide will stop supporting Adobe Flash, a multimedia software platform used for a broad spectrum of applications. Non-support browsers include Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox and Chrome. Once the deadline hits later this year, you will no longer be able to use Flash on your website. Why is this?
Removing support for Flash is largely a security-driven move. Flash was once the standard for videos, games and other web content. However, it is vulnerable to hacking and exploits because it uses memory and interacts with software and other platforms. Another issue that users have is difficulty integrating with mobile technology due to its tendency to use a lot of power and its lack of support on both iOS and Android.
Choose Standard Fonts
When it comes to how viewers respond to websites, you will be heavily judged on whether your audience can read the content. If not, they’ll move on to a competitor site. Websites are supposed to be designed to provide the best user experience (UX) possible. Flashy, complex or hard-to-read font takes away from that experience, fueling higher bounce rates with readers. Simply put, they will not stay on a page they can’t read.
When using fonts, you need to consider size, structure, spacing, color and weight. So, what are the best fonts for mobile devices? While opinions differ somewhat, here are some common recommendations.
|Helvetica Now||Nexa||Playfair Display||San Francisco|
There are other things to consider when choosing your font. For instance, if you are designing a website to be viewed on a mobile device, try to use a text input font size of at least 16px. Otherwise, viewers may not be able to see the words. Also, use headings and subheadings to break up the paragraphs and sections to guide the reader along as they are scrolling. Last, use as few font sizes as possible. Too many font sizes over-stimulate the reader and wash out target areas on the page that you want viewers to see.
Larger Button Sizes
A website button on a website should be so obvious that even the casual viewer notices it. What is a website button? A button is any graphic or text box that allows your visitors to touch or ‘click’, transporting them somewhere else on the site or to a different site. For example, you would add a Buy Now button to your website for your visitors to purchase your product.
Sadly, viewers either miss these buttons or cannot press them regardless of how many attempts due to one primary reason: they’re not large enough. So, the first rule in button creation is to make the button larger so that it’s easy to find and easy to touch.
Also, make the button look clickable using a call-to-action (‘click here’, ‘view’, ‘book here’), colors or even 3D graphics. Last, lead your readers to the button somewhere in the content. Let them know that the button is coming.
Responsive Web Design
In web design, the term responsive refers to an approach that makes web pages load properly and fully on various devices and window or screen sizes. Responsiveness also accounts for viewer proximity – how close the average viewer is (or should be) to the screen. For example, you may notice that a website looks great and functions well on your computer but has problems loading or working on your phone or tablet. Therefore, it is NOT responsive.
With the increase in device usage today, more web developers are sensitive to the differences in all devices. Therefore, they optimize the website to work well regardless of what you are using to view it. When you consider a website design, think about how well it will look and perform on a phone, tablet or other devices.
Ongoing Website Testing
Designing and building your website is phase one of an ongoing process that includes testing and maintaining the site over time. There are several reasons to test your site. However, one of the main reasons is that web browsers and search engines are constantly changing their platforms. Testing ensures that your website is optimized based on the latest algorithms.
Web testing checks for functionality, usability, security, compatibility and performance of the web application or website. During this stage, developers assess common issues such as security, overall performance, load times, readability and the site’s ability to handle peak traffic. Compatibility with all browsers on mobile devices is also assessed.
Mobile-Friendly Website Design from Lucid
At Lucid, we provide a wide range of tools that helps you expand your market reach while targeting the customers you want. To find out more about our mobile-friendly web design and development services, call us at 850.760.0478 or fill out the quick contact form below, and we will be in touch.