Yakima County Development Association - Business On The Go - Mobile Friendly Websites

Jean Brown

Article by:
Jean Brown

Jean publishes a blog called the Enterprise Corner.  It features articles on entrepreneurship, local industry trends, manufacturing news and periodic ‘toolbox’ articles showcasing assistance, incentives and other resources for local businesses.



Business On The Go - Mobile Friendly Websites

Business On The Go - Mobile Friendly Websites

May 16, 2014

Let’s face it - life on the go means most people are doing business over their phones. This trend is only going to increase so maximizing your marketing to these smartphone users, which by the way is more than half the population, is crucial.  Chris from Invisible Ink  web design says “the time is now to reach all those mobile customers through a mobile or responsive web design.  If you’re not mobile friendly, grab on to the tailgate and get on board because it’s crazy to lose such a giant group of consumers.”   The term responsive web design means that you have one website that adapts to the size of the screen being used.  For example

          Desktop                                  Tablet                          Phone

 You’ll see that the content and pictures move and adjust to display the information for a visitors ease and access.  Deciding how the layout will work and respond is a conscience decision between you and the web designer.  As the screen gets smaller keep these hints in mind:

 1. Keep it Quick & Simple.
Simplicity is an absolute necessity for your mobile site.  Keep the most prominent features and primary business objective in mind.  User friendly means that the mobile site has a simple, touch friendly design, layout, and navigation. With less screen real estate at your disposal, you need to choose your placement of elements, buttons and links wisely. In short: Less is more

2. What’s Your Story?
Think about what your business objective is and how mobile visitors need to use your site when they visit.  Let your business personality shine through while defining what needs to be on this abbreviated version.

3. Keep it Short & Sweet
Remember that what people do on their phone while out and about is a bit different than when they are sitting at their desktop.  They are on the go and time is of the essence.  Don’t force too much text input for users because each additional entry field reduces user satisfaction.   Provide users (potential customers) what they need as quick as possible with minimum taps, swipes or entries.   Also Chris says “the more you can reduce the file sizes and graphics the faster it will download on cell networks which stick users to your site and treads lightly on their monthly data budget”.

4. Function & Fashion.
While your desktop website lends itself well to links with small and precise active (clickable) areas, the pocket devices require larger, chunkier buttons that can be easily pressed with a thumb, Chris calls it touch friendly.  Even though smart phones are larger than their predecessors, they’re still not big enough to effectively support more than a single-column layout when displaying content.  AVOID the need for a user to pan back and forth or zoom in, they don’t like it and they’ll move on.  Accentuate your style and branding with optimized functionality.

5. Test & Test Again.
This is where the rubber meets the road, so as Chris says “you have to test and test again to make sure it works on most, if not all, common mobile devices, especially since they change often”. 

More resources:
How To Optimize Your Online Presence
Marketing Options

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