10 Ways to Enhance User Experience on a Mobile Website

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The evolution of mobile devices has completely revolutionised the web industry. Today, where mobile device usage has increased drastically, it has become more important than ever for websites to target mobile users as well. This is not only important to improve the conversion rate but also to stay ahead in the market.

According to a survey, a website receives around 27% of traffic from mobiles and tablets. Moreover, for certain countries such as USA and Brazil, more than half of the traffic came from mobiles only. This number is indeed huge and it is still growing with the passage of each day.

Why do we need mobile-friendly websites?

Running a website has many different aspects associated with it and having a mobile version of the website is one aspect that cannot be overlooked. In fact, the debate over launching device-friendly websites was called off when Google launched its mobile-friendly algorithm designed to reward mobile friendly pages in the Google mobile search results.

But just launching mobile friendly websites is not enough. Web users seek the same user experience on mobile devices as they do on desktops and tablets. No one wants to visit a site that has been squeezed to fit into the smaller screen. Therefore, you need to ensure that your visitors enjoy visiting your website on any other device than desktops.

Today, in this article, we are going to share 10 ways to enhance your user experience on mobile friendly websites.

1. Design for the device

First of all, you need to understand that people navigate in a different way on mobile devices than desktop. According to Google’s research (PDF), users who surf the internet on their mobile devices are usually goal-oriented. They want to easily and immediately reach to what they are looking for, without having to waste time on jumping from one page to another.

This clearly states that the website needs to have a simple and clear website design that helps users access information on your website easily and on their own terms. People hate to zoom in and pinch on tiny elements and buttons on the website that are designed especially for a desktop website to be able to read them.

Therefore, it is important to keep in mind every factor for providing better user experience to mobile users when designing a mobile-friendly website.

2. Highlight your calls to action

What do you want your users to do when they visit your mobile-friendly website on their mobile devices? As we discussed in the previous point, mobile users are goal oriented thus, you have to provide them a direct route to the call-to-action that improves your conversion rate.

Make your landing pages constructive with simple yet powerful call-to-action buttons. Simply put “get a quote”, “buy now” or “subscribe” in bold letters and make them easy to read and click. You can also make your call-to-action stand out by giving it a noticeable color such as orange, red or green. According to Apple, a normal call-to-action button should have a minimum size of 44 pixels to make it as easy as possible to tap.

3. Reduce forms

As a matter of fact, no one likes to fill out lengthy forms. Moreover, when it comes to filling out forms on mobile devices, it’s a big No. Therefore, it is important to understand your user preference and present them the easiest way of accessing the information you have for them. When designing forms for mobile users, make sure you only include fields which are absolutely necessary.

Also, highlight all the fields and the submit button – bold and clear. Big enough to draw attention and clickable enough to make the processing of filling out forms as easy as possible.

4. Use images cautiously

Mobile devices are certainly smaller than desktops and laptops and thus can cover only a small portion of its contents. Therefore, it is always a bright idea to use the power of images to illustrate and summarize your points.

But images can be an exceptional challenge for mobile websites since they take longer to load than normal text. Having said that, there are various server-side and client-side solutions to make images work beautifully on mobile devices without any loading delay.

  • On the server-side, make sure the host of your website has state-of-the-art updates and software and there is bandwidth and server speed is up to the mark. Moreover, the host should have relevant software to figure out the device on which your users are accessing your website and adjust the delivery of images accordingly.
  • On the client side, it is designer’s responsibility to implement image optimization techniques and proper coding to improve the image delivery.
  • In addition, make sure the images you choose to upload on your website are impactful and clear that are not too complex or busy at smaller screen sizes.
  • Also, make sure the images you upload are sized properly which means if your site uses a large or wide images, determine the largest pixel required and try not to exceed that. You can also downsize the pixel, if necessary, with the help of pixel based photo editing software such as Photoshop.

5. Optimize your mobile-friendly website for speed

No one likes to wait a long time to load a webpage. Only half of the web users would actually wait maximum 15 seconds for a website to load. According to a recent study, more than 44% of users navigate away from a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Moreover, Google also gives more preference to sites with fast loading. If you are running a WordPress website, you can install various plugins to speed up your websites such as W3 Total Cache, WP Super Cache and many more.

6. Keep typography clear and concise

The screen sizes of the mobile devices are quite smaller in comparison to other devices. Therefore, you cannot fill the entire screen with large titles or keep it so small that they have to keep zooming in. There is a Typecast’s amazing proportional method for mobile friendly websites that helps you understand how big or small font size you should use.

According to this proportional method, your titles should be twice the body font size and the subheadings should be 1.625 times the body font size, which is rather close to the golden ratio. Follow the method and improve your conversions in no time.

Font sizes should be bigger than you think, in order to be improve readability.

7. Simplify your navigation

Navigation is one of the most important factors that determine a website’s success. Just like speed, navigation also makes you lose a large number of visitors if you provide poor navigation. A website should offer easy and convenient navigation to its users by integrating easy to locate navigation bar, a search bar and other important elements of a website. You can shrink your navigation bar down to the fewest possible options or add a sticky navigation bar to the top of your website for better navigation.

8. Add a search option

The most important element for almost every user is search. When you build a site, consider search bar as an element that enables website navigation and accessibility. The main concept of easy navigation is not merely to forsee and respond to what a visitor may be seeking on your website, but it is to lead users through your website.

When it comes to mobile-friendly websites, you can’t take risk of losing a potential customer simply because he/she is unable to find what they are looking for on your site. As an instance, if you are running an e-commerce website, then a search option might be the most important element on your mobile website’s homepage. You can also make the search option available on other pages via a sticky menu.

9. Optimize your mobile website colors

Smartphones differ in many features including color support. While smartphones like HTV and Blackberry only support 65,000 colors, Nokia and iPhone offer support for 16 million colors. This is certainly a huge difference when it comes designing your website graphics. As a matter of fact, with millions of colors, you can display better graphics that feature brighter and sharper images. But of course, you can’t be picky. You need to consider every device available out there to provide the best user experience.

10. Summarize popular information

Just like search options, categories and blog archives also make it a lot easier for users to find the information on your website they are probably looking for. Your users should be able to scan all the articles, tutorial or other relevant information at a glance by clicking on a category or blog archive option.

Bonus: Add a sticky menu with a search option

I have discussed the search option above, but you can modify your search option by one additional element, i.e., sticky menu. This is one of the best ways to enhance user experience. With a sticky menu, you make it easy for your visitors to search your website at any time they want.

It sticks with the user even if they are scrolling the page down. This is the feature that makes it an enhanced experience for a visitor. In a mobile website, providing a sticky menu always help. If you have an eCommerce website, then you must have this option.

In addition to search option, you should also make sure that the search result can be distinguished as per relevancy and availability for both mobile and desktop.

Bonus: “Switch to Desktop” option

Now, you must have seen many of the websites where near the footer there is an option that says “Switch to Desktop site”. When someone is browsing on a Phablet (Phones which are almost identical to tablets in size), they usually use this option. As the phablets support desktop versions as well. This makes easy for a user to switch if they are using a mobile version website.

There are many mobile websites which miss out some of the important options for the visitors. This option will help you out. Also, there are so many devices that rescaling a website every time is not an easy task. By providing this option you’ll serve your visitors and yourself as well by saving your own time.

Bonus: Check 404 errors

A 404 error can be one of the most annoying problems for your visitor. Your visitor can certainly punish you for a 404 error. This disturbs his browsing flow and also increase the chances where he can leave your website and look for better options.

So keep a check on your website whether there is any 404 error in it. If there is any, fix it for good by using a redirect for example. An error-free website is the only way to keep your visitors engaged at all time.

Wrapping it up

There are various ways to make your mobile-friendly website look presentable on mobile devices. However, before diving into using these methods to increase conversions and ROI on your mobile sites, it is important to understand that the idea of launching a mobile-friendly site is to offer easier navigation and better user experience. Make sure you add only relevant elements on your website and chunk out any unnecessary elements, content, and buttons.

Emma Watson

Emma Watson is a a professional WordPress developer at Wordsuccor Ltd., where you can find her offering custom WordPress development services and theme customization for small business and corporate clients. You can contact her through Google+ handle.

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No responses yet to “10 Ways to Enhance User Experience on a Mobile Website”

  1. Alley Wong says

    Good content, would like to have more insights on technicalities of web development.

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