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Great Website Design: Don't Forget About Mobile Users

You have to optimise for mobile users.

It seems obvious to point out, but too many businesses are forgetting or don't know how to optimise their sites so they are mobile-friendly. Ever since the explosion of the smartphone people have been moving towards using them more for their internet usage than regular desktops. 

 

In fact, in 2016 for the first time, mobile and tablets overtook desktops as the primary device used to access websites.

Three reasons Google gives for why mobile optimisation is important:

  • Mobile-friendly sites show up higher in search results
  • Mobile searches make up more than half of searches on Google.com
  • If your website isn't mobile-friendly, visitors are 5 times more likely to leave

Here is a short list of tips to improve the usability of your site:
  • Don't use Flash – Most mobile browsers do not render Flash. This means images won't load, leaving big error boxes. Definitely looks unprofessional.
  • Content is too big for the viewport – This is when poorly designed pages are cut off and the user has to scroll across. This is incredibly frustrating, especially if it's mid-sentence.
  • Avoid small font size – You've got a user onto your site, bravo! But now you're making them pinch the screen to zoom in. Why make it harder for them?
  • Touch links are too close – A frustrating thing for users is clicking a link but accidentally clicking the one next to it. Even without chubby sausage fingers, it does happen. Fix it.

Page Speed

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The next issue you need to think about is page speed – the time it takes users to load your page fully.

Mobile users are mostly goal-orientated. They want the answer to something and they want it fast. They are in the driving seat so all you have to do is make it easy for them to reach their destination.

 

Over half of mobile users will leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Add in the unreliability of the British mobile networks and your site has to be firing.

For the more technical readers, Searchengineland.com offer some technical tips on improving page speed:

  • Eliminate render-blocking Javascript and CSS in above-the-fold-content.
  • Enable compression
  • Optimise images
  • Minify CSS
  • Leverage browser caching

If you haven't been focusing on improving your customers' mobile experience, you'd better prioritise it now, or your search rankings could suffer. Hopefully, you can take away from this some tips you can use to improve your site.

 

Usability and speed is the backbone of your site. Focus on these together and you'll have a recipe for a high performing website.

 

If you are still struggling with your design or want to take it to the next level, check out this handy guide. It details 25 website features that you need to include in any website design:

 

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