Shopping on a mobile phoneThis post is part two of designing for mobile-first.  We’re discussing how we can reach more of our target audience.  Recently, a marketing study was conducted to determine how visitors reacted to a specific website. Did they have a positive or a negative experience as they viewed the site?  Thousands of websites were tested for this study.  The final report was clear.  Most of the negative comments were all about poor mobile design.  This affirms that the mobile-first approach should be the first part of any new design method today.  This applies to adaptive or responsive design methods.

It is a fact today, that your customers are living in a mobile environment. The focus in 2019 is all about pleasing Google and ranking well enough to attract visitors who will purchase goods and services. Users are now spending hours every day online.  A mobile-friendly site is also known as a customer-friendly design.

Today we are all out of our offices and homes at least part of every day.  We may be shopping online, checking our social media accounts, texting, or just browsing and looking for articles of interest. We carry our smartphone wherever they go and we even use our phones inside a brick and mortar store. Let’s face it, we prefer to shop using our phones.  We can even check product reviews and choose a brand based upon information we look up online.  Smartphones are now even used for weight watcher dietary plans.  We can easily use our phone to check the calorie count of each product in our grocery store.

Google has noticed an increase in mobile usage:

Google has taken into account, our habits of using mobile-first. In fact, it has become important enough for Google to use the mobile experience as part of its ongoing Google algorithm.  The ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) is now based upon the increase of consumer mobile usage.

Responsive versus mobile-first design?

When we design for desktop use, we develop a responsive layout for desktop and tablet first.  We develop the site for normal screen resolution sizes. We then allow it to scale down to fit a smaller screen (for mobile devices).  The content may be the same on both the desktop version and the mobile version.  However, when we design for mobile-first, we start off by creating a mobile layout rather than a desktop layout.  This allows excellent user-experience, quick download speed and proficient touchscreen navigation elements built-in.  Because we develop the layout to be viewed on the smartphone first, we can optimize it easily to be viewed properly on a desktop or tablet.

Mobile-first designAdding images and content for mobile-first:

As we design for mobile-first, we optimize and limit the number of images used.  Adding too many images will slow down the time it takes to load the page.  When it comes to adding content, be sure to put the most important information near the top of the screen.  Many visitors never click to other pages and search engines should be able to see the critical information in the first part of the home page screen.

Graphics and clean features:

Graphics are always suggested when we take on a new project by the client.  However, they work better for desktop computers rather than mobile platforms.  Mobile designers are aware that it is best to limit the number of graphics.  Additionally, the mobile-first project should stick to only a couple of fonts per project.  Color palettes should be limited to color choices, taken from the company logo.  Using colors that work well together will keep the user from straining to see the entire design layout.  Although desktop designs tend to be full of graphics and images, mobile designs are minimal and clean.  The mobile-first design focuses mainly on the information needed for easy user experience.

Avoid music and irritating elements:

Do everyone a favor and avoid using annoying music and other elements that can drive visitors from the site.  One of the top complaints we hear is from clients who are annoyed by “pop-up” features.  They interrupt the viewing pleasure of everyone (contrary to what some clients think).  No one wants to be prompted to make a purchase or to fill out unnecessary questionnaires.  There is no problem if you want to add a feedback form someplace on the site.  But for heaven sakes keep it away from the home page screen as the viewer enters. Give them an opportunity to leisurely browse the site.  If your site is easy to navigate, functional and mobile-friendly you will be rewarded with better visibility and more client conversions.

Working on a laptopCover both bases, desktop, and mobile design:

Website users are normally using desktops during daytime hours at work and may shop online while they work as well.  Therefore, it is crucial to cover both platforms, desktop, and mobile.  Give your users a great experience to make their shopping easy on both platforms.  We think mobile-first but remember that desktop use is still important.  Keep both concepts simple and fully functional.  A responsive design dynamic works on both desktop and mobile platforms.  Optimize images and content to adjust for all screen sizes. This will ensure that the design will rank well and bring the results the client is looking for.

Blogging and SEOHow important is blogging and using keyword phrases today?

Blogging allows us to share news and to provide specific keywords that Google will use to drive the target audience to your site.  Google offers tools to help manage and improve your sites search engine optimization.  To monitor how many visitors are accessing the site, we recommend adding Google Analytics.  We also provide a list of professionals available to take over and offer monthly blogging services.

Conclusion on designing for mobile-first:

Those websites that are not built on a mobile-friendly platform will not be included in most searches and therefore not enjoy the revenue they produce.

Get mobile-first or get lost in the race for top search engine listings. Contact us for a new mobile-first design.

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day holiday and hurry back for more on designing for mobile-first.

Happy St. Patrick's Day