Avoid missing out as more of your web audience goes mobile

Consideration of how your audience are using mobile devices is becoming increasingly important. In 2011 there will be 500 new mobile devices and 100 new tablets launched.

And, by 2013 industry statistics show that more people will view the internet on a mobile device than on a PC. By 2020 there will be 5 billion mobile devices in use worldwide.

Did you know that 20% of job searches are already performed on a mobile device?

Mobile has become an important consideration for all organisations, not just those targeting the youth sector. The need to ensure your site renders correctly and that your emails are delivered well on a mobile are as increasingly critical to business users with their Blackberry as they are to consumers.

Mobile users behavior is usually characterised by:

  • Microtasking – Using the phone for short bursts of activity
  • Local – Finding out what’s around the user
  • Bored – Using the phone for distraction or entertainment.

When considering your mobile audience, remember that not all content may be relevant at that point in time, so getting this aspect right is vital. For example, does someone viewing your website on a mobile need to see your full company history? Is the complete depth of site navigation available on your main site essential, when quick mobile viewing is important?

On your website, the intro and section pages are designed to move your customers into the pages where the content lives. On a mobile you need your customers to see these more valuable content pages as soon as possible.

One size fits none:
You should also consider the type of visitor who will look at your site on a mobile device; is it more likely to be a returning visitor or someone who comes to your site for the first time?

If you are a recruitment company it’s more likely people will be coming back to your site to check new jobs, rather than to see your company history or credentials. On the flip side, if you’re a doctor’s surgery, people may be searching for you; in which case some content on your services, contact details and credentials are more important.

Keeping all these factors in mind, here are some specific mobile design and functionality considerations:

  • Simplify navigation
  • Reduce depth of navigation
  • Create a simple navigation home page
  • Make links obvious
  • Design for smaller screens
  • Prioritize content
  • Minimise user input
  • Keep form fields to essentials
  • Design for slower connection speeds
  • Keep page sizes small with minimal graphics

Statistical influence
We carried out some web usage analytics on our client sites and found the average number of mobile users to those sites is approaching 15% of the total.

Can you afford to miss out on these potential customers because they found it too difficult to find the information they needed?

If you have a smartphone, take a moment and have a look at how your own site appears, then have a look at Preview’s to see how a streamlined version of the same site is automatically delivered to your mobile. Our site has simplified navigation, reduced content, but also takes advantage of other features of a mobile, such as linking directly to the map or navigation software to provide pinpoint directions, and linking to the phone to enable a call to be placed without having to copy numbers.

Improving your own site’s mobile performance does not necessarily mean rebuilding your site or developing a parallel mobile version as we can often take much of the structure, coding and components from your existing site and a basic, workable mobile site can be delivered within a few days.

We can also deliver cost-effective, creative, promotional and practical mobile Apps (like the one we did recently for East Sussex County Council) for the iPhone, iPod and Android devices too.

Contact us now to find out we can deliver your website seamlessly for mobile users and unlock the potential of this growing market. If you don’t have a smartphone, we offer a free service to show you how your site or email marketing looks to users on various mobile devices. Please contact me for details.

Advertisements