Why your website needs to be mobile-friendly
One of the biggest challenges businesses face online is getting customers to their website, but an even bigger challenge is what happens next; how do you guide customers from the point of entering your website to the point where they can make a purchase, get in touch or find something interesting which sends a positive message about your brand? It’s no picnic let me tell you. A lot of businesses are just catching on to the benefits of a user-friendly website, but this has to take into account all of the different ways people are getting online nowadays.
With the mobile-revolution that’s been going on lately, more and more people in the UK are surfing the web on mobile devices. There are around 30 million smartphone owners in the UK, and around 20 million tablet owners; so that’s a whole lot of people to ignore if your company website is not mobile-optimised for these devices.
Everyone is connected via mobile nowadays
What we mean is that with a potential 50 million mobile device users in the UK, there’s a good chance that your website is going to get some traffic from some of these devices. Whether you’re selling online, showcasing your services, blogging or anything else – there is a message that you are trying to put across to your audience, and this message gets distorted if the design and functionality of your site isn’t up to scratch for the device it is being viewed on.
The idea behind a great user-friendly website is that you don’t want to give users too much to think about; navigation through your site should be simple, seamless and comfortable. The same rule applies across mobile devices. It’s all too often the case that because the screen is smaller on mobiles and tablets there are elements of the site that can’t be seen at a glance – which is probably as much as you’ll get from the average user who is increasingly pressed for time. In fact, over two thirds of consumers claim that a site providing a poor user experience is likely to send them on their bike, straight to a competitor.
So basically, you don’t want your site to be sending mobile users the other way. That’s a given. Your website should be fully optimised to give mobile users a totally comfortable experience when browsing your site. We call this Responsive Design – because it’s about responding to the user’s need for a mobile-friendly experience, adapting your website layout to suit whichever device it is being viewed on. You can read more about it here.
Mobile devices account for 31% of site traffic in the UK – that’s pretty much a third of your potential customers online that are using a smartphone or tablet. You wouldn’t close half of your shop to a third of your customers, so don’t hide half of your website with an unresponsive, limited design that requires them to swipe around just to find your contact page for example, it should already be there.
There’s a wealth of opportunity in optimising your website for mobile, making it easier for your audience to find what they want be it products, information, a phone number and more. Brand loyalty can be fragile online with so many alternatives just a click away, you’ve got to make sure you’re doing everything you can to give users a comfortable and effortless experience on your website – and this means looking and feeling great on whatever device they are using.
Check out our mobile and responsive design services page if you’re keen for your website to offer a greater user experience and take advantage of the mobile revolution.
UPDATE: Econsultancy have recently published an interesting article on mobile app design best practice, showing some inspirational examples of mobile-optimisation done right.