If you only memorise one statistic about mobile Internet use, it should be this:
As things stand right now, approximately 93% of all Internet users access the web via their mobile devices, every single day. Which equates to somewhere in the region of 3.5 billion people worldwide.
By now, you probably don’t need us to remind you of the importance of delivering a high quality mobile experience. In terms of what represents the most important mobile design practices however…well, let’s just say a lot of ‘mobile optimised’ sites out there leave a lot to be desired.
So if you’d prefer so deliver a more engaging, enjoyable experience for your own visitors, the following 5 best practices represent a good place to start:
- Remove Your Navbar
First and foremost, always remember that space is at a premium on mobile devices. And when you think about how much space the average mobile navbar takes up, the answer is it’s probably way too much. Helpful as a navbar can be on desktop, it’s best to consider any and every alternative for your mobile site. Unless it is absolutely and fundamentally necessary, do what you can to get rid of it.
- Keep Important Elements Within Reach
Despite the fact that mobile device manufacturers keep making their phones bigger all the time, research suggests that more people than ever before are interacting with their smartphones one-handed. Which in turn means just one thumb available to read all the most important elements of your website. If you don’t make it easy for them to be accessed one-handed, chances are they won’t. But even when it comes to two-handed mobile use, the importance of easy access to keep page and site elements remains.
- Minimise and Optimise File Sizes
Likewise, you also need to do everything within your power to ensure that any large files or images are brought down to absolute minimums. Mobile network speeds may be increasing all the time, but every mobile device user will frequently find themselves in a position where signal quality is abysmal. And of course, there’s also much to be said for minimising the necessary data consumption.
- Link Phone Numbers and Addresses
Ideally, visitors to your mobile website should never be more than one ‘click’ away from finding your contact details. If possible, make sure your primary contact details are bolted to the top or bottom of every single page. If not, make it as easy as possible for your customers to get in touch with you. Make no mistake about it – a clickable phone number can and will make a big difference to the user experience.
- Disable Popups
Last but not least, what Google refers to as “intrusive interstitials” are irritating enough when they appear on a desktop website. Via mobile devices, they can and often do drive users to distraction. The simple fact of the matter is that in 99% of instances, popups have the exact opposite of the intended effect. Which means that unless it serves a purpose of critical importance without which your business simply cannot get by, it’s worth getting rid of popups entirely from your mobile website.