Optimizing your website means optimizing for mobile.
More and more website are now being viewed through a 'mobile device'. It has now hit over 50% of all global websites (52.2% as of 2018). What does that mean? That means the website you created just 3 years ago, when only 35.1% of sites were viewed on a phone, is probably hurting your business. So please, do a quick check-up on your site right now through your phone. Look at all the pages and notice what you see:
- How is the load time?
- Is everything in the correct order?
- How are the font sizes? Are they readable? Too large or too small?
- What do your buttons looks like? Are they hard to click with your thumbs?
- How does your navigation perform?
Most of these items are a bit up to your discretion, however when it comes to load time, we should look at facts. Google offers a free way to test your mobile speed and even offer suggestions on how to better your performance. It also tells you how an "estimated visitor loss" percentage - due to loading time.
You can click here for the test.
'Google offers a free way to test your mobile speed and even offer suggestions on how to better your performance.'
Checking up with your website like this should be a regular occurrence. It's not meant to be a set-it-and-forget-it aspect of your business, it's a foundation for further business and brand development. Most importantly it works harder than you do; doesn't take breaks or even sleep, so make sure you set some time to look under the hood to make sure everything is running smoothly and properly.
Now if your site is old and in need of desperate repair (especially when it comes to mobile) or looking for a complete overhaul. There is a fairly new concept that understands the future of web called "Mobile-First Design": We will definitely be making a separate post that delves deep into this subject, but for now let's go over the basics.
Mobile-First Design is the process of creating a website and its UX starting at the smallest screen size.
This may come at a surprise to some of you, but it should ultimately make a great deal of sense when thinking about creating your website. So if you're the owner of your business and hire out your website design, ask your designer or design team about mobile-first design and how to implement it into your next large update or new site. If you handle your website personally, take the time and do some research on this subject before you create a new site or update your existing one.
Here are a few benefits to expect utilizing Mobile-First Design:
- Website views through mobile are only increasing, and already HALF the population is consuming your site this way.
- It is easier to add to a site, than to take away.
- Forces you to think about the end user and UX.
'What else can I add to this site to make it that much better?'
It is easier to add to a site, than to take away.
Let me explain: The old way of designing a responsive website was to create beautiful pages as they would be seen on a computer screen. Lots of space and opportunity for content. Then you reduce the screen sizing and adjust content and images to best fit the now smaller space; from desktop > tablet > mobile. This forces owners to decide what is important and what needs to be ditched. This gets increasingly difficult as the screen size gets smaller and smaller, leaving you with your mobile version as a sad semblance of its original form. Not a great first-impression, and sadly 50% of visitors will only see this side of your business.
Now, mobile-first design starts with the smallest screen and expands. This means you have to distill your site into its most finite and essential elements before you even begin. This ensures your website has everything you feel it needs to be successful at its smallest form. This includes button sizing, interactions and micro-interactions, navigation, and copy length. So now that your mobile view is done, you expand... and you don't have to remove anything!
With each increased screen size, you get to add in more content, copy, images, etc. Now you get to think "What else can I add to the site to make it that much better?" instead of worrying about eliminating something that may be necessary.
It's a powerful way of designing and sets both your business and designers up for success, not to mention, prepares your website for the future.
If you have any suggestions or think we missed anything important, we would love to get your feedback. We hope this was informative and hope to see you on the next blog. Stay tuned!