As the internet and devices change and improve, web design (and websites) can struggle to keep pace. Gone are the days of websites that make how they look, feel, and work on mobile devices an afterthought. Mobile is crucial to every website and every business that has one if for no reason other than Google has placed top-priority on mobile friendliness for search results.
So what are the key ingredients for “mobile first” websites in 2019?
- Mobile Design Is Not Responsive Design
- Fast and Clean Design is Crucial
- Use the Technology in Hand
Mobile Design Is Not Responsive Design
Mobile design is the process of creating a website that places mobile device functionality first. Responsive design simply tries to make a website function on mobile devices as well as it can. It’s the difference between designing a car to go 200 mph or taking a station wagon and trying to convert it into a 200 mph car. Converting the family wagon would be a silly waste of time and resources.
Building a better website that is fast and mobile first in its approach is much more efficient and effective especially since it will function on desktop computers as well.
Mobile design obviously has to take into account a number of factors that are built into mobile devices. Screen size, controls, menus, and images are all put at a premium on mobile devices. So the design must work with the devices. Platforms like Google Android and Apple iOS must also be adjusted for.
Fast and Clean Design is Crucial
Websites and their content have to load quickly on mobile devices for two main reasons. First, customers won’t wait. According to Google, if a web page takes more than 3 seconds to load on a mobile device, 40% of people will leave the site. With good design and optimization, a web page can load in fractions of a second.
Things like menus, controls, and calls to action have to be designed and optimized for mobile first. A full 80% of customers are less like to buy from a site where they experience difficulties with the design and functional elements.
Successfully building websites for mobile takes rethinking the website from the viewpoint of the consumer and how they are accessing and using the site before ever laying out a page of content. The focus of the content has to be clear and direct and near the top. Call to action buttons and links need to be clear and optimized for mobile sizes. Text needs to be crisp and concise.
Use the Technology in Hand
To put it simply, mobile first web design takes full advantage of the technology built into the device in the first place. That means having an understanding not only of the device but the operating system and the tools it can provide for customers.
The simplest example of this is phone calls from websites. The vast majority of people will not call if they have to copy and paste a phone number in order to dial. Designing contact information that connects automatically to phone dialing, text messaging, maps, and directories is crucial to design success and user engagement.
Other “in-hand” technology includes providing text and chat, document viewing and signing, payment processing and more. In fact, fewer and fewer actual voice calls are made as text, chat, and email continue to rise. Is the phone number on your mobile site able to be used to reply to texts or does it just go to voicemail? Is there enough information accessible on your site so that a phone call isn’t needed in the first place?
These three elements of great mobile first web design are what every business owner should be considering in 2019. Regardless of the type of business, product, or service you provide. Byrd Digital develops websites and converts websites to mobile first design as a primary design factor, well before any code is created or content written as a part of your overall digital marketing plan.