There is one fact that is becoming clearer and clearer as the year progresses. Article after article has been warning about a coming, the dawn of a new digital age. It was always speculated that this time would come, that a change over would happen in the online world. That day has now dawned. This year, 2015, is the year of mobiles.
Last year, a survey of English mobile device usage showed that 30% of searches were performed on a phone, with a further 22% being from a tablet. These together show that over half (52% to be precise) of internet searches in general were done from mobile devices. These statistics are staggering, with other countries reporting differing percentages but all around the same figure. There is no denying it; as of the start of 2015, the internet has gone mobile.
The big question then becomes how should businesses account for this? To be completely honest there is one thing that stands out above all else. Rather than having a website that remains in entirely one shape over the devices, responsive websites allow for improved usability on all mobile platforms.
As well as the obvious addition of responsive code to website pages, in order that they become more user friendly when on a smaller device, there are a few additional things that need to be considered for mobile optimisation.
Optimise for Speed - One major factor for all websites is for them to load quickly, as a website that takes too long to load will be frowned upon by the search engines. Keeping images small is one such way of doing this.
Reduce the Size of Interactions - In order to maintain customer interest in a site it is important to reduce the size of the interactions needed to get from Point A to Point C. Whereas it is all well and good having a long contact form on a website for desktop, long forms do not work well on mobile. Instead small interactions, like the click of a button, are far more effective.
Use Task Based Design - It is always important to think of your intended audience when designing a mobile-friendly site. Making sure that your audience can easily find and achieve whatever they came to your site to do is important. Depending on the site it may be an idea to re-think the information architecture of the site.
Obvious Call to Actions - For a mobile site it makes sense to place the Call to Action in an obvious place that can easily be interacted with, with no obstruction in the way. Mobile sites are all about usability so increasing it, creating a smooth flow of information and micro-conversions can be incredibly beneficial.
Use Effective Site Search and Filters - Ensuring that there is an effective site search and filtering options can improve user experience threefold. It improves the path the user has to take in order to work their way through the site. Rather than try and fight their way through a load of information the user can instead use a search bar to just find the content that they desire.
The above tips are just a few basic things that can be done in 2015 to ensure that a website does not lose traffic because its users go mobile.