10 Design Adjustments for Optimizing Your Mobile Site

Now that mobile site design is a top priority for businesses, thanks to Google’s new algorithm, it’s important to consider how to optimize your site’s design for mobile users.

There are three directions you can take with a mobile site: Mobile-friendly, mobile-optimized, and responsive.

  • Mobile-friendly is a site that works on both desktop and mobile devices. Content may appear smaller, but all functions of the site will still work properly.
  • A mobile-optimized site is reformatted to display an optimized version of its content for mobile devices. Navigation is simpler, buttons are bigger, and content is scaled down.
  • Finally, a responsive design automatically adjusts, based on the size of the screen it’s being displayed on.

Regardless of which approach you choose for optimizing your site for mobile, there are certain design elements that should be kept in mind.

Study up on these 10 actions to optimize for mobile devices. These simple design elements will optimize the mobile experience for consumers, and help convert them into paying customers.

  1. Remove text from images. Text overlay on images often appear fuzzy on mobile devices.
  2. Make your logo a button. Make it easy for mobile users to return to your homepage by turning your logo into a link that brings them there.
  3. Consider image scaling. Users on mobile often flip their phone to view in landscape format. Be sure that your images scale correctly for any screen orientation.
  4. Give your text more room. If your content was designed initially for desktop, the switch to mobile means less screen space. Mobile devices may turn one line of text into two. Consider this compression of space, and leave extra room for text to carry over.
  5. Optimize your videos for mobile viewing. The number of videos viewed online has skyrocketed in recent years. Ensure your videos are accessible through mobile devices and follow these additional tips for mobile video optimization.
  6. Identify which devices your target audience uses and design accordingly. It’s easy to assume that everyone these days is on an iPhone or an Android, but that is not always the case. Understanding your audience and the different devices they use will give you a better idea of what type of modifications to make for mobile, and how to enhance the user experience.
  7. Get rid of pop-ups. If you’re using a form that appears as a pop-up, get rid of it on your mobile version. These are bad for both user experience and SEO.
  8. Rid your site of unnecessary content. The “mobile first” approach is all about minimalism. Considering the mobile user experience forces you to determine which information is most valuable. Trim the fat on content, and you’ll have a mobile-friendly site that is easier to read and navigate.
  9. Design for one-handed navigation. When someone is using their mobile device, their finger is their primary tool. Navigation links and buttons should be big enough to click with a finger (or thumb).
  10. Design for change. When the iPad was released in 2010, designers had to scramble to ensure that their websites worked well on the new device. Consider how quickly new devices enter the game, and the flexibility required to change your design to accommodate them.

Consumers are accessing more sites from their mobile devices than ever before. Optimizing design for a mobile experience will help you stay ahead of your competitors, and create a positive experience for your customers.

Which of the three versions of a mobile site have you used? Do you have any other design considerations for mobile to add? Tell us in the comments below.

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