The rise of smartphone usage means that more people are going online from a mobile device. Mobile-only users aren’t a new group of people – they’re already your customers and target audience. However, your message needs to be presented in a new way so that mobile users are getting the same content. On average, 32% of all web traffic is initiated from a mobile device today, and that number continues to grow. If you deliver this content on the same website found on a desktop, you may be providing users with a poor experience due to a long loading time, small fonts, unusable links, and other glitches caused by trying to access a desktop site from a mobile device. According to a recent survey conducted by Compuware, 40% of users have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience. Luckily, there are a couple of options for making your content easily accessible on a mobile device.
The first is to build a mobile site that is separate from your desktop website. Your mobile site should be much simpler than the desktop version, and only include key pieces of information that your mobile users will be looking for on the least number of pages. Your users will want to find what they’re looking for quickly, without clicking through lots of pages. If you need to collect information from your customers, try to keep your forms to a minimum and use dropdown menus, checklists, and pre-populated fields to make the experience as simple as possible. It is also important that you have redirects in place that will recognize a mobile user and automatically direct them to your mobile site on their device rather than your desktop website.
Another option for going mobile is to optimize your full site to look good on mobile from the start. Responsive Web Design has taken off recently as the popularity of tablets and smartphones grows. It uses a mix of adaptive or fluid grid layouts and CSS3 media queries to show and/or hide certain page elements based on the user’s browser or screen resolution. This means that as you access a responsive website on different devices, the site will adjust to the appropriate resolution and only show the important information that your mobile user needs to see. Our own website is built this way, so you will notice that while it looks different on a desktop than it does on a tablet or smartphone, it is the same website.
How to use this Information
Going mobile is a necessity to reach and retain your customers today. It is important to develop a mobile strategy that works for you, and building a new mobile site or adapting yours to be responsive are excellent ways to ensure you’re giving mobile users a great experience with your website.