Monthly Archives: July 2015

A Simple Guide to Best Practices for Mobile Web Development

What is it to invest in a mobile website? Well firstly of course it’s a ticket for your business to access a huge (and growing) portion of all of the sales made online each day. There are many important factors which go into an effective mobile website, but here though are some of the best practices for mobile website development, and they’re things that every online business needs.

Fast Pages
This is the very first impression your new or existing customer will have of using your business on their mobile. For webpages which lag the phone’s browser, most users will immediately click away from the page and try the next website on the list (your competition). Unfortunately many of these might also not return.

Responsive Pages
If your web design was made years ago, the chances are that the pages are not responsive to different types of device. This is perhaps the most important change you need to make of all for your mobile website development. Responsive pages can even cater across platforms now, so weather your potential customer is using iOS, Android, or a Windows phone, their experience of your site will be sleek and enjoyable.

Design Clarity
When your images are scaled down to fit a small screen, are they still visible? Also make sure that you aren’t using overly elaborate fonts, when these are made a quarter of their normal size they can be unreadable.

Utilise Buttons
If your existing desktop web site uses lots of tick boxes, and drop down menus, then perhaps you should consider trading them out for more buttons. Button icons stand out more, and are far easier to use with handheld devices.
Also features like ‘call now’ can save your customer time and effort, increasing the likelihood that they’ll choose your site.

Is Mobile Website Development Absolutely Necessary for Business?

Mobile E-Commerce has blown up in a big way over the last five years or so. Research estimates that the global value of sales made using mobile phones and tablets this year will soar to well over $40 billion, representing over one third of all E-commerce.

This is the first very clear reason why designing websites which can respond to each and every device type is now an absolute necessity for front end mobile website development.

From the consumer’s side, it’s never been easier to find the right product, at the right price. When I shop now I can stand in store with a product in my hand, and in my other hand I can survey the global marketplace for price comparison. At the click of the button, if a website offers the good for less than the store, then I can choose to have it on my doorstep by the morning

This is why, if you do business online, and are yet to update your site for mobile, you are – factually speaking – turning away business. What’s more is that if your competition is one step ahead, your customers may not return after having a bad experience trying to access your site.

If you currently have a desktop website already, try to view it on your mobile device and just see how it responds. The page layout loses it’s integrity, and you might find that media becomes corrupted. It might be impossible to use drop down lists, and buttons, which were designed for cursors, but not thumbs. If this is the first impression your potential customer has of your business, the chances are that they’ll look elsewhere.

Fortunately there have been massive breakthroughs in web design to respond to the mobile boom, and it’s isn’t necessarily so difficult to become mobile compatible. If you are currently using a non-responsive website, you could copy it almost exactly into a responsive site, or even create a mobile or web app for an even more customer friendly experience.

 

Exemplary Mobile Website Design

Sometimes it’s better just to get stuck in. That’s why here rather than talking around the issue of what makes for a great example of mobile website design, I thought I’d just take a look at some of the best for you to check out yourselves.

When ASOS was born over a decade ago now, the world of fashion retail was forever changed. They’ve led the way in the industry for showing the rest how things should be done, and their mobile app is no different. Considering the traffic ASOS hosts at any one time, and the vast amount of product pages their site includes, it’s unbelievable how seamless their mobile site works.

To go from the homepage to find a women’s blazer you viewed before a week ago amongst the tens of thousands of other items can take only a few seconds, and only a few clicks of the thumb. Each page is loaded with data, but it all arrives instantaneously at the same time. On each product page, you find information, photos, size guides, other similar items, and recommendations to complete the outfit. If this isn’t impressive enough (which it is), you can also watch an instant catwalk video with the item at one click of the thumb.

The whole navigation menu can be accessed at the top right, and from here you can easily go in and out of sub-categories to find your desired piece, without having to load each section.

There are many others out there doing great things, Links of London the jewelry house is very similar, and the Neal’s Yard site is worth a look.

Car manufacturers, and any luxury item is a great place to check out web design as these are the brands where the appearance is everything, and that has to cover their website too. So if you’re looking for inspiration, these are some really good places for you to start.

Finding Inspiration From Great Mobile Website Examples

Before designing your mobile website, savvy yourself up by looking for the best mobile website examples in your industry. You should also take note of the poor websites you find on your search to take note of the what not to dos.

Firstly write a list of the biggest and best competitors in your industry (leave some space for notes). Next visit each brand’s site one by one, noting what you like, and dislike about each. Every industry is different, and whilst bright might be smart for one, it might be gaudy for another.

Once you’ve done this look for any prevailing trends you see throughout. The chances are if all of the best websites seem to share a certain feature, and are built for the same purpose that you are building yours, then perhaps this feature is essential for the customers experience, and you should follow suit. This said if there is no necessary reason for the similarity, then perhaps you have just found yourself an easy avenue to make your site stand out from the competition.

You need to consider the deep structure of the site, does it branch out with page, upon page, upon sub-page? or is all of the content confined to a few simple pages?

Does your competition utilise text, or image rich content on their pages? Perhaps you hadn’t considered multimedia, but if you see your competition repeatedly making use of it, and find yourself a little envious at how well it works, perhaps you should take it into consideration.

Finally how and where should you place menus, home page and click to call icons, branding, and additional information?

Finding other great sites will not do all of the work for you, but is a great first step for finding inspiration to building your mobile website effectively and affordably.