Tag: opinion

The Importance of Mobile-Friendly Design

The concept is simple - making your website, application, or digital advertising, respond to being displayed on a small screen (like a smart phone) by altering its layout.

Buttons become larger and easier to touch, whilst other non-vital elements such as decorative images or illustrations are made smaller, or are hidden completely.

With the truly huge range of smart phones, tablets, phablets, laptops and desktop computers available, the implementation of this concept can sometimes be daunting; your website needs to work perfectly for as many screen shapes and sizes as possible, in landscape and portrait! Simply shrinking your website to fit won’t work - intelligent design decisions must be made to ensure a solid experience for users on any device.

Apps are no different. What works for your desktop computer, with it’s keyboard and mouse, will certainly need to change for your phone, with a small touchscreen as the sole form of input. Advertisements must adapt as well, if they are to grab attention in a space of dwindling real estate.

why (and how) to make sure your website is responsive

- There is an increasing trend of visitors browsing the website on a daily basis from mobile devices, rather than traditional computers. Many companies report seeing upwards of 50% of their traffic come from these devices, such as iPhone and Android handsets.

- Modern websites are often designed for mobile first. The layout is planned for use on a small screen, and then scaled up for larger displays, to avoid images and text ever becoming too crowded.

- Mobile devices often rely on touch for browsing, rather than a mouse. Buttons and links should always be large enough to tap with a finger, without difficult aiming.

- Websites loading for mobile will often rely on a slower Internet connection that full desktop sites. To improve loading times for users, measures should be taken to optimise the size of the images being loaded, the order that code resources are being loaded, and the number of resources the website relies on to function. Lots of files and images equals a longer wait for users, and patience can run out quickly.

- Although mobile browsing is relatively young (when compared to traditional desktop websites) a strong design ethos has already arisen around what constitutes a simple to use website for mobile. Elements such as the so-called ‘burger’ menu abound, and act as useful shorthand for communicating meaning to users subconsciously. Utilising these mobile design paradigms will improve user experience.

UX: User Experience

How many times have you visited a website which you’re certain offers what you’re looking for, but you’ve been infuriated by how the website works? Hard-to-find buttons, menus that don’t work properly, and information obscured by popups or rubbish layouts are common complaints.

the importance of usability online

There are now more ways to browse the Internet than ever - your desktop computer or laptop, a tablet, your smart phone, even some watches! It is imperative that your website, whatever your offering, is easy to use and browse for your visitors. This is what we mean when we talk about User Experience (UX).

Every decision made when designing your website is an opportunity for improvement! Will my main menu be easiest to find at the top of the page, or will users find it useful if it sticks to the top of the window? Does this paragraph of text need to be displayed straight away, or should it reveal itself when the user moves their mouse cursor over this image? Will my customers expect to be returned to the home page when they click my company logo?

browse our browsing tips

  • Your website’s job is to give people the information they’re looking for as quickly as possible, with a minimum of fuss. Strike a balance between offering routes to that information, and not overloading visitors with too many options!

  • Keep your page layouts tidy and consistent. That concept for a different-shaped-page-where-the-text-runs-in-a- spiral-from-the-inside-outwards may be on brand, but how likely is it that the average user will stop and spend a minute wrapping their head around it?

  • Don’t try to squeeze too much in. Like we mentioned about not overloading visitors with options, it is often counter-productive to feature too many products or services at once. After all, not everything can be the most important thing on the page! This is particularly important for mobile website layouts, where space is at an absolute premium.

  • Usability before user ability. Remember, no matter your industry, you’re catering to a wide range of computer literacy. Your website should offer speed and reliability to your more capable visitors, and gently guide those that know what they need but require help getting there.

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