Now that smartphones are more common worldwide, mobile web design is becoming even more crucial.
Mobile devices are changing the way businesses operate and how we connect with brands. In fact, over 50% of web traffic comes from mobile, including online shopping.
While smartphones have been around for the last decade, these numbers will only keep increasing. Therefore, mobile web browsing is expected to become even more popular — and the designs will be more intuitive.
That’s why strategic mobile web design is key to gaining a competitive edge. If you want to deliver a quality mobile experience, your top mobile web design tips are here.
1. Always Use a Mobile-First Approach
Mobile-first websites make sense, especially when smartphone traffic continues to grow. However, online marketing is a competitive landscape, pushing designers to take a mobile-first approach to rank for SEO (search engine optimization).
On July 1, 2019, Google announced that mobile-first indexing would be the default for ranking websites. This means the Googlebot will crawl your mobile website first to analyze mobile-friendly content to index web pages.
Using the mobile-first approach can be quite tricky. Before creating a desktop web design, you have to consider how mobile users interact with their devices.
For example, photos and videos created for landscape may not work well for portrait when using mobile-first.
Consider these factors when creating your site design and in the future with the mobile-first approach.
2. Produce Simple Layouts
With users’ short attention spans, you must allocate this resource accordingly. Mobile web design prioritizes simplicity since it creates a better experience with smaller screens.
Here are a few ways to achieve this objective:
- Avoid using a horizontal scroll.
- Rely on one-column layouts.
- Avoid producing clutter.
Essentially, you’ll need to create a clean layout by following a minimalist approach. Focus on bringing more value to your visitors instead of crowding everything into one place.
3. Simplify the Menu
Users tend to get overwhelmed or confused when navigating a complex menu filled with numerous options and destinations. While desktop sites are more likely to have multiple menus and submenus, it’s the standard to have a hamburger icon for mobile menus.
Therefore, you should reduce mobile website headers to this simple icon and logo. Once a user taps on the actual menu, a sidebar should slide out and overlay a portion of the screen. From there, they should have a few navigation options — and users should be able to tap out of the menu to get back to the previous screen.
In addition to keeping the menu short, the user shouldn’t have to scroll back to the top to find the menu. Once the user starts scrolling back up, the navigation should reveal itself.
4. Utilize a Thumb-Friendly Design
Most users interact with their smartphone devices using only their thumb. Typical movements include swiping, text entry, scrolling and clicking — while the rest of the fingers support the back of the phone.
Another factor to consider is that users browse with their less dominant hand while multitasking. You can prioritize your design to enhance the overall user experience with these typical mobile interactions.
For example, mobile web designers should create buttons of the largest size since the thumb is the largest digit. If not, users will have difficulty registering the button when they press it.
What’s as important is where you place interactive elements. An ideal interaction zone for users is the lower middle part of the screen. Doing this grants easier access, creating a perfect experience for users.
5. Simplify Text and Make It Readable
Readability — or easing the text for readers to understand — is crucial for mobile web design. The text is an element that communicates much of the information. Therefore, these are the parts of readability to keep in mind:
- Typeface: The typeface should scale well and be seamless on any screen size. Roboto and Helvetica are great examples to use for text.
- Font size: A good default for mobile font size is 16 pixels.
- Color Contrast: Make the text accessible to readers according to the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines).
Craft a Mobile Web Design With Users in Mind
Remember, a mobile-friendly website design works well on tablets and smartphones. Ease of use, scannability and simplistic features are just a few elements to consider when designing your mobile site.
Use these tips above and keep testing to find your flaws. The earlier you fix them in your design process, the better the experience you can provide users on your site.