Web Design is Going Mobile – Why you Need Mobile Web Design

With the popularity of smart phone’s continuing to soar, browsing is going mobile. But what does this mean for web design?

Mobile search – The Facts and Figures

The increase of smart phones and tablet devices has revolutionized the way in which we browse the internet. The current figures show that 7% of all website traffic on e-commerce site is coming from mobile devices, and this figure can only be set to increase as the price of the devices reduce. Already the sale of smartphones in the UK has nearly hit the 50% mark compared to the bog standard phones we used to use before we realized touch screens were cool. This percentage is huge – certainly shows where the market is going.

So? What’s it got to do with my web design?

You may be thinking that these facts and figures are nice and pretty but what’s it got to do with me? If you’re a business owner who relies on the internet for income, it’s got a whole load to do with you.

I don’t know whether you use your smart phone or tablet to surf the internet but it extremely annoying if the website does not display properly – it’s difficult to navigate around which can be extremely frustrating. If a visitor comes to your site and they have this experience you can be sure they aren’t going to stay around for long.

Luckily, there is quite a simple solution to this frustrating problem – a specially designed mobile website.

How is mobile web design different?

A mobile web site is essentially a simplified version of your own website, you can still use the same branding themes and colors but everything needs to be made super user friendly. The general principles are still the same but you need to figure out how your website can be shrunk down to mobile size – big fingers and teeny buttons do not go well together.

By trying to reduce your website to the size of a handheld device, there are immediately going to be limitations due to the size other problems may include a lack of a mechanism for scrolling, the use of a stylus or finger for a mouse and downloads will generally be slower than on a desktop or laptop.

For these reasons the best way to go when designing a mobile website is to think about one simple column and only put the information that is absolutely necessary – you don’t need flashy images which are going to slow down the speed of browsing.

You should spend time thinking about the important content on your website – what do users want to see when they arrive on your website? Are they looking for contact details? Or do they need more information about your products and service before they make their decision? Your most important pieces of information should never be more than one-click away on a mobile website or you risk losing potential customers. To read more about designing mobile websites see this article.

To see how your website is currently being displayed in a mobile browser, head to howtogomo.com – an initiative by Google to help webmasters and business owners understand more about mobile web design.



Rebecca Field is writing on behalf of BigFork a Norwich web design company. They have worked closely with a range of clients to develop an effective mobile site while keeping in mind the design and style of the current desktop site.


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