Building a great mobile website requires different skills and different mindsets than building a great desktop website. You’re also building for a completely different audience. Here are seven tips to help you build a knockout mobile website.
==> Tip #1: Analyze Your Browser Traffic
Should you build for the iPad first? Or Android? Or should you cater to iPhone users?
Don’t just guess. Instead, check your Google Analytics data. Google Analytics will actually tell you what kinds of browsers and devices people are using to access your site.
Use this information to figure out who to optimize for when you’re building your site.
==> Tip #2: Use Load Time and Bandwidth Calculators
Use load time and bandwidth calculators online to figure out how long it takes for people to load your page. Make sure to figure out how long it’ll take on both a 3G and an EDGE connection.
There are a lot of people who’re still using old technologies.
==> Tip #3: Ask for Feedback
Don’t just design your mobile site and then hope that you did a good job. Instead, make it easy for people to leave you feedback. Have a big button to a feedback form somewhere on your mobile site.
==> Tip #4: Use Single Column Designs
Single column designs generally work the best. Mobile phones are almost always taller than they are wide. It’s very rare that someone will want to read content with a navigation bar beside the content.
It’s been tried and tested: single column designs work best for mobiles.
==> Tip #5: Make Your Buttons Tappable
Your buttons should be at least 80 pixels wide, if not larger. It’s very hard to click on a small button with a big finger. Using big buttons takes space, but it makes your site much more usable.
==> Tip #6: Use Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design allows you to build for all mobile devices at once, rather than for just one specific device. It also allows you to dynamically load stylesheets for different kinds of devices, rather than have to load a completely different site.
Building with responsive web design is more effective, faster, more user friendly and looks better than building a completely different mobile and desktop site.
==> Tip #7: Have a Call to Action
Don’t just build a nice-looking mobile website and leave it at that. If you run a business, make sure you have a call to action on your site.
The call to action might be to push a button to call you. It might be to email you on the spot. It could be to “Like” your page or to share your business with their friends. Choose just one call to action and make it crystal clear and prominent on your site.
These seven tips will help you design usable, fast loading, great looking phone-friendly websites.