We live in a mobile-dominant world. In 2015, Google reported that 52% of search traffic and almost half of shopping traffic comes from mobile devices. A mobile responsive web design is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.
Due to smaller screen sizes and often being on the go when using a mobile device, consumers are coming to a website with a clear plan of action. If the site they visit can’t give them the information they need quickly, they’ll go find one that can.
1. Make menus simple and concise
On a mobile device or tablet, you can’t expect users to scroll through a large menu or click through to multiple submenus. There just isn’t enough space on the screen to process it all. It’s important that menus contain a high-level overview of the products and services you offer to allow visitors to narrow down what they’re looking for. From there, they can click to a specific category or utilize the search feature to filter their results further. The ideal menu has no more than 5-6 items, giving users just enough information to guide their search. There should also be no more than two submenus within the main menu, if they are necessary at all. In terms of style, the “hamburger” menu has been widely adopted, so you don’t need to say “Menu” for users to know where it’s located.
2. Catch your visitor’s eye with CTAs
Calls-to-action are an essential part of any web design, but they play an especially important role on mobile. Since, as opposed to their desktop counterparts, mobile users typically have more of an idea of what they’re looking for when they come to your site, make it as easy to find as possible with CTAs placed in the most valuable real estate. Ideally, they should be located above the fold, use contrasting colors or fonts to make them stand out (within reason, of course), and clearly state what the offer is for. The following steps should be laid out clearly so you don’t leave visitors wondering what they need to do next.
3. Bring users the search results they want
Site search is especially important to mobile users that come with a specific plan of action in mind. They’re less likely to dabble with vague menus or scroll through page after page of products. That’s why it’s all the more important that your search results provide exactly what the visitor is looking for on the first page. Once a user completes a search, provide filter options so that they can sort the results as it best pertains to them (e.g. price, relevance, top sellers, etc.).
4. Make it easy to contact you
With any site, the ability to quickly contact a company is essential. For mobile users, this means having a click-to-call feature prominently displayed on the website. This, along with a contact form or email address, will give visitors options so that they can contact you in the way that best fits their preferences and the urgency of their need. It’s also helpful to have an FAQs page to give users the ability to seek answers to questions they have without requiring them to actually contact you. Most consumers would agree that if they can figure it out on their own, they would rather do so. Another mobile-focused way to provide easy contact is by embedding a Google Map of your location onto your site. Allowing visitors to click on the map, zoom in and out, and search for directions from the Google Maps app will make sure that they have no trouble finding your brick-and-mortar location if you have one.
5. Load time is precious
As consumers, our patience is wearing thinner by the day. For mobile users, even more so. Since many are accessing your website on the go, it’s important that you don’t leave them waiting around for pages to load. Your site should be able to accommodate both WiFi and non-WiFi connections equally, ideally loading a page in less than four seconds. Over half of mobile users expect a site to load in four seconds or less, and 80% are unhappy with the current browsing speed on smartphones. That’s a lot of potential customers bouncing from your website due to something that is almost entirely controllable (barring poor cell reception). Some goals to keep in mind for mobile web designers are to keep the entire site’s size under 1MB and use images and videos wisely. The more visual content you have, the slower your website will likely be.