There is no denying the importance of responsive website design.
Between the stats that demonstrate the overwhelming mobile web use and the design rules favoured by search engine algorithms, websites that succeed online are ones that are built on responsive website design principles.
Web designers, marketers and developers must consider mobile design in the big picture as they create new online masterpieces for clients. Many times when people are designing for mobile the mistakes they make are in user experience. It can be hard to remember to wrap your head around functionality across all platforms, but it’s important to be aware of the mistakes that are easy to make and just as easy to avoid.
Not understanding mobile users limitations
Using a mobile device to browse the web is a much different experience than browsing on a laptop or a desktop. First, you have a smaller screen, so content and images may need to be structured differently and responsive functionality can address this. Mobile users are also a lot less willing to wait on load times, to fill out extensive forms and to click through multiple site pages. You may consider creating more bite-sized content chunks for mobile, easier CTA directives and a well-structured layout with bold headers.
Designing for yourself and not your users
Always design around what your audience needs, not what you want or think you want. When you stop designing for yourself you can start looking at how to craft the ideal user experience. This is why you define buyer personas before you apply a strategic marketing plan, because the way you want to be sold to may not reflect the person standing next to you.
When you approach mobile friendly website design from a user experience standpoint you should be asking yourself a number of questions. For instance, are there distractions within my design? Can I add more clarity? Is there more relevant content that belongs on this page?
Choosing creativity over clarity
The most successful mobile websites are those that are directive and clear. There is no room on mobile to confuse users and often overly designed website are confusing on mobile. Your design can be both beautiful and clear and it should be.
Not following mobile rules
There are MANY rules for mobile web design, that is why it’s wise to work with a developer who specializes in responsive web design, but here are a few to really think about as a marketer.
- Mobile friendly web fonts - when choosing a font for your clients or business remember to consider how that font may render on phones and tablets
- Skimmable content - mobile was not designed for the long read, to allow you visitors to navigate your pages and content quickly consider smaller content blocks and headlines
- Slow loading pages - the performance of your mobile website is probably the most important aspect of your design. Test your page load times across different connections
- Test your mobile site - take the time to flow through each page of your site, click your CTAs, fill out your forms. How easy is your site to navigate?
- Your mobile site wasn’t built with responsive web design principles - just remember that Google prioritizes website built with these principles, others sites are punished.
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