Web Design for Mobile Devices – 5 Guidelines You Should Follow

Planning on building a mobile site to serve all your mobile users? This is a big undertaking because there is so much to do from optimizing for conversions, making sure your coding is clean, to adapting the images to different dimensions. There is a ton of things you can do to make sure that your design comes out right, but having some fundamental guidelines will help you minimize errors, build a solid infrastructure you can build on, and set your website up to attract more visitors.

1. Focus On Getting The UI Right

Many companies often have a clean layout for their mobile sites but seem to choke up with their UI. The UI for a website, of course, is the navigation menu. Sometimes the navigation menu is too complex while other times it’s just unorganized. You want to put a lot of energy into the navigation menu because it determines whether or not the user will explore deeper into your site to fulfill his need. You want to make sure that everything is clean, intuitive and organized.

2. Identity Your Main Goals And Build Around Them

Designing a website without having defined goals is much like trying to get to a destination without a map. Sometimes the goal is a simple one like getting a person to subscribe to your newsletter and sometimes it’s more complex like getting people to take part in an elaborate contest. Making your goals the primary focal point while designing and developing a mobile site will give you a clear idea of how you need to build the site to meet your objectives.

3. User Experience Is King

The biggest goal of a mobile website is to deliver an excellent user experience, probably because so many websites fail at it. Everything from how long it takes the website to load, how many clicks are needed to get to the meat of the site, to the readability of the content is all part of the overall user experience. Poor user experience results in high abandon rates, lower conversions and lost reputation whereas an excellent one creates the total opposite. A great way to make sure you deliver the best experience to all devices is to use the responsive design format.

4. Simplify As Much As Possible

Because there’s a limited amount of space to work with, you want to simplify as much as possible so that it’s easy to understand and use the website. That said, it is definitely easier said than done. You really have to put a lot of thought into this. One example of simplifying is putting the navigation menu in a pull out tab when the menu is extensive or interferes with the browsing experience. Another is providing a quick link back to a main category page so that the user doesn’t have to press the back button multiple times.

5. Ensure Search Engine Friendliness

More and more mobile users will be coming in from the search engines, so you want to make sure that your website is search engine optimized. Working with mainstream CMS platforms often make it easier to this. Responsive design is also a smart choice for SEO because one website is being used for both a mobile and desktop search campaign. This eliminates the need to build a separate mobile site while also giving you double the value in the content and links you build for your website.

Goran Paunovic

Goran Paunovic is a creative director at ArtVersion Interactive, web design company and full service creative agency.

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