This fact gets thrown around quite a bit, and it’s a big one so we encourage you not only to read it but really digest it. 51.2% of online users worldwide use Mobile devices to browse the web. This is based on worldwide data from January to May 2018. The remaining is split between desktop (44.66%) and Tablet (4.14%). It’s no wonder a mobile-first approach is the preferred strategy to design and develop a website.
Furthermore, in 2016 Google announced it would begin indexing and ranking sites mobile-first:
Our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results.
After a year and a half of testing Google commenced the rollout in March this year.
What differences can we see between mobile and desktop design?
With a smaller width of frame to work with, neat parcels of information and imagery that are stackable one under the other is best. Our menus reduce down to a hamburger function (recognisable, easy to use accordion style menus usually in the top right corner), heading font sizing is reduced to be more compact and easy on the eye. We ensure forms are friendly (no more zooming in to click on fields!) and an ease of flow between screens is desired. Sometimes our websites get a bit cluttered both with design and informational elements, mobile is not the place for this so we break things down and keep things simple.
Overall mobile responsive websites create a better user experience, taking out any pain points associated with those horrific zoom-to-view websites and replacing this with a very nice and seamless experience when viewing on a smaller device. It should act as a sister to your desktop version, not a long lost estranged cousin, so design cohesion is key. Plus why not take advantage of heightened interaction with the user on mobile (click to view map, click to call functionality). Whether the user is viewing on mobile for convenience on the go, out of curiosity at their fingers or as a primary alternative to desktop the benefits are abundantly clear.
So where to from here?
First and foremost your website must be responsive-friendly for tablets and mobile, if its not (as for many sites pre-2013) this should be made a priority if you want your site to work wonders for you both with conversions and search engine search-ability.
If your site is a few years old you may want to consider redeveloping from scratch, but if your budget is low we can of course work some magic and create a mobile and tablet version of your website from where it sits today.
Get in contact with us if you have any questions or would like our help to get started on your journey into a mobile friendly design for your online space.