10 Mobile Best Practices

For a Better Business:

1. Keep it Quick
Mobile users are often short on time, squeezing in online tasks as they go about their day. To help them, design your site to load fast and make copy easy to scan.

  • Prioritize the content and features that mobile users need most.
  • Use your desktop site analytics to see what mobile users are doing.
  • Reduce large blocks of text and use bullet points for easy reading.
  • Compress images to keep them small for faster site loading.

2. Simplify Navigation
No one likes to be confused. Clear navigation and, on large or complex sites, search functionality will help your customers easily find what they need.

  • Minimize scrolling and keep it vertical only.
  • Use a clear hierarchy in menus and avoid rollovers.
  • Help users navigate between levels with clear back and home buttons.
  • Use seven links or fewer per page of navigation.
  • Have a search box prominently available on complex sites.

3. Be Thumb-Friendly
People use their fingers to operate mobile devices—especially their thumbs. Design your site so even large hands can easily interact with it.

  • Use large, centered buttons and give them breathing room to reduce accidental clicks.
  • Pad smaller buttons to increase the clickable area.
  • Pad check boxes by making the text clickable.

4. Design for Visibility
A mobile-friendly site gets its message across without causing eyestrain. Make it easy for your customers to read—remember, they may be in a place with low light.

  • Create contrast between background and text
  • Make sure content fits onscreen and can be read without pinching and zooming.
  • Use plenty of negative space. Use size and color to indicate link/button priority.

5. Make it Accessible
Ideally, your mobile site should work across all mobile devices and all handset orientations. Find alternatives to Flash—it does not work on some devices.

  • Use HTML5 for interactivity and animation.
  • Adapt your site for both vertical and horizontal orientations.
  • Keep users in the same place when they change orientation.

6. Make it Easy to Convert
No matter what your site’s objective is, your customers need to be able to do it with a virtual keyboard and no mouse. Make it easy to buy something or contact you.

  • Focus on information that will aid conversion (i.e., product details).
  • Reduce the number of steps needed to complete a transaction.
  • Keep forms short and use the fewest number of fields possible.
  • Use check boxes, lists and scroll menus to make data entry easier.
  • Use Click-To-Call functionality for all phone numbers.

7. Make it Local
Consumers look for local info on their phones all the time—from locating the nearest gas station to finding an open pizza place. Include functionality that helps people find and get to you.

Have your address or store locator on the
landing page.
Include maps and directions. Use GPS to
personalize when possible.
Allow users to check stock at nearby stores.

8. Make it Seamless
People now use multiple screens throughout the day. Convert as much of the functionality of your desktop site to mobile as you can to create a
seamless experience.

  • Allow users to save popular searches and shopping cart contents.
  • Maintain key features of the site across all channels as much as possible.
  • Display the same information for products/services.

9. Use Mobile Site Redirects
A mobile site redirect is code that can automatically tell if visitors are using a mobile device and send them to the mobile-friendly version of your site. Have your site developer implement this redirect code so your customers get the best version of your site for their needs

  • Give users a choice to go back to the desktop site, but make it easy to return to the mobile site.
  • Let users choose which version they prefer to see for later visits.
  • Include key information, such as your address or a store locator, on the redirect page.

10. Listen, Learn and Iterate
Good mobile sites are user-centric, which means they’re built with input from your audience. Ask your desktop site users what they want in a mobile website and make testing and optimization an ongoing process.

  • Use analytics to understand how people use your site.
  • If possible, especially for complex sites, do user testing before.
  • Implement and collect user feedback after launch.
  • Iterate often and continuously improve your site based on your research.

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