Despite the fact that there are a whopping 1.75 billion smartphone users around the world, many websites are still extremely difficult to navigate on mobile devices. There is a plethora of different devices, screen sizes, resolutions, and mobile browsers on the market, which complicates matters more.
A website that functions perfectly well on a desktop computer can look disastrous on a mobile device if you do not follow mobile usability best practices. Below are 8 usability mistakes that might be spoiling your company’s presence on the mobile web.
Using a different domain for your mobile website
Avoid creating a mobile version of your website on a different domain, such as a .mobi domain. Instead, use a subdomain of your main website. For example, you could put your mobile-optimized content on a subdomain like m.yourwebsitename.com. Better yet, you can apply the principles of responsive design, so you do not have to use a different domain at all. Your site will shrink or expand depending on screen size to provide an optimal viewing experience across a wide range of devices.
Mobile devices are less powerful than computers because they are restricted by screen size, processing power, and Internet bandwidth. With this in mind, keep your mobile website simple and minimise interactivity, so users can achieve their objectives. Your mobile website should make it easy for users to move quickly and freely throughout its interface. For example, keep your navigation menu as short as possible, limit the number of links on a single page, and minimise the use of images. Less is more!
Automatically redirecting users to the mobile version of your website without giving them the option to use your full website
Give mobile users the option to use your full website instead of just your mobile website. This will enable them to access all of the features and content on your main website that are not visible on the mobile version of your site. This is particularly important for satisfying users who are already familiar with your desktop website and know the location of content.
Displaying content that affects the mobile user experience
Cramming everything onto a single page
Whereas it is important to create a mobile website that is a reflection of your desktop website, you should not try to cram everything on there. Evaluate your website’s analytics data to determine which core content is visited the most frequently. Prioritise that content on your mobile site. Design a single column mobile website, if possible, keeping in mind that scrolling side to side on a mobile device is not user-friendly.
Not providing users with a site search function
A site search function is a lifesaver for users when your site is not working properly on their mobile devices. For some mobile users, using the site search function might even be faster and easier than using a dropdown navigation menu.
Not providing mobile-friendly features
Mobile users are often on the go and do not have time to click around and browse your site, so it is important to provide them with mobile-friendly features, such as a click-to-call feature that allows them to call you with just one click. In addition, make sure that your hours of operation, a map, and directions are easy to find on your mobile website.
Not testing on various mobile devices
Just because a mobile website looks great and functions optimally on an iPhone does not mean it will work the same way on an Android device. Be sure to test your mobile site on multiple mobile browsers, operating systems, and devices before launch to ensure that it functions well across all platforms.
The mobile web has exploded in popularity in recent years, but knowing where to start and how to approach mobile web design can be challenging. When it comes to mobile usability, there are many factors to consider due to limited screen size and the variety of mobile devices in existence. Keep this advice in mind when devising your mobile strategy and designing a website for the mobile web.