For over 3 years, mobile Internet usage has surpassed desktop Internet usage. Mobile devices have now become the primary instrument for information delivery, and their market share is only expanding. This fact has significant implications for website owners, as bounce rate is now not only determined by the quality of your desktop site, but also the quality of your mobile site. With this information in mind, here are a few steps to make your site more mobile friendly.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is a site feature whereby webpages change and resize themselves depending on the type of devices they are viewed through. When this element is not incorporated into websites, it makes user interaction on mobile devices unwieldy. Part of the reason for this is that desktop-style webpages tend to be too large for mobile devices. Users are forced to scroll and zoom-in to find information. Webpages need to be moved horizontally, which is an ergonomic strain on the smartphone’s rectangular design.
Well made responsive web design will alleviate these concerns by fitting all information within the screen of the mobile device. It eliminates the horizontal dimension of the page, so the only direction the user will need to scroll is down. Furthermore, text is magnified automatically to a readable size, extinguishing a need to zoom-in. All of this makes the webpage more pleasing to use and radically reduces your bounce rate. Moreover, call-to-action buttons are moved to places that are most likely to be seen by mobile users, and this helps to optimise your conversion funnel.
Even within the confines of a responsive mobile site, it is still possible to clutter a webpage. Mobile sites should offer as few clickable icons as possible. Part of this is for aesthetic purposes, but also because it prevents latency issues and consequently reduces bounce rate.
Additionally, whenever mobile sites need to display a heavy amount of text – as in an article or blog post – it would be of great value to segment that text. A good example of this is would be Wikipedia’s mobile version. Wikipedia, both in mobile and desktop iterations, has its text placed under several headlines. What differs is that in the mobile version, this text remains hidden until its headline is tapped on, so all you see when you open up a page is a series of headlines. This serves the dual purpose of making user navigation easier, as well as reducing lag.
Turning Off Autocorrect For Forms
Poorly constructed user forms can consistently be relied on to stymie conversions. If users feel that the input of information is at any point cumbersome, they are likely to fail to complete the lead form and not return. A very subtle contributor to this is autocorrect.
If you have a website that asks users to enter personal information, autocorrect will only be a source of constant irritation. Autocorrect is very likely to act on names and addresses, which in most instances is completely useless. This issue made even worse when a username has autocorrect, as they are more likely to contain incorrect or variant spellings. Make sure that autocorrect is turned off for all form fields so as to reduce user frustration.
One drawback to mobile devices is that you lack the precision of a mouse. Clicking requires fingers, which is an imprecise apparatus for smaller icons. This fact is only exacerbated when icons and buttons are clustered around each other. To mitigate this, it’s important to increase the size of visible buttons. This reduces the instances of accidental clicks, and is likely to prevent user annoyance. This is particularly true of call-to-action buttons, which should be the most prominently displayed and largest buttons on the site.
A Game Of Inches
Internet users are only becoming more and more sensitive to inconvenience. As the online market has increased in competition, web designers have needed to use every possible technique to retain user attention. These techniques have ironed out the most cumbersome aspects of the user interface, so that what remains are only the slightest of annoyances. But these slightest of annoyances are now the difference that customers notice. So they need to be rectified, wherever they are seen, and on whatever device.