Mobile website design is essential for businesses that want to maximize customer engagement and stay relevant in 2018.

Businesses that don’t take mobile website design seriously and change their website design to mobile-friendly websites are risking losing huge numbers of customers. The most recent estimates are that more than 30% of customers are using devices like cell phones and tablets to shop and engage with businesses online and that number is increasing every year.

Making web design mobile friendly is what businesses need to do in order to be competitive in 2018 and beyond. Companies that don’t update their website design to be more responsive and mobile friendly will get left behind as consumers become more used to technology integrating into their lives.

Why A Website For Mobile Devices Is So Important

It’s true that people still do use their desktop computers and laptops. And they do surf and while using their desktops and laptops. But as smartphones get smarter and integrate more tasks into one device it’s easier for people to do more on their smartphones than trying to use a phone and a computer or a tablet and a computer. And now that there are smartphones with a range of screen sizes and quality more people are finding that they only need their computers for work and they do everything else on their phones.

Making a mobile-optimized website is critically important so that consumers and clients can easily manoeuvre around the site when they are using smartphones. If a customer can’t navigate the site you are losing money. There are a lot of elements of website design that look and function well on desktops or laptops but don’t aren’t really convenient or viable on smartphones. Flash pages, fixed images, and tables can help give a website a distinctive look but none of those elements work for someone on a smartphone which means that potential customers could be surfing away from your site because the site doesn’t work properly or load the right way on their smartphone screen.

Mobile web design that is specifically created to look good on a range of smartphone screens and that takes into account how the browsers on smartphones work is the only way to tap into that 30% of consumers that are browsing and shopping on their phones. And when your website is mobile ready you can reach more customers than your competitors can. Making your existing web design mobile can be a game changer for your how your business reaches new customers.

How To Design A Mobile Website

Mobile web design is all about making your existing website adaptable so that no matter what size screen your customers are looking at the site on it will still look great and have the functionality they need. In the past, some companies have tried to design a website for mobile devices separately from their original site and have essentially created two versions of the same site.

That worked pretty well when all smartphones had similar size screens. But these days smartphones have many different size screens depending on the brand and the model of the phone. There are also tablets to consider as well. And tablets, like smartphones, come in several different sizes.

It would be much too difficult to design several different websites trying to make a mobile-optimized website for each type of device that people use now. Instead, website designers can use a responsive script to create mobile-optimized websites that will automatically adjust to the size of the screen that it is being viewed on. That way customers can switch seamlessly from smartphone to tablet or desktop and back again. And one person can view the site on a laptop while someone else is viewing it on a tablet and it will still look great.

Mobile Web Design Essentials

When designing a responsive site there are some design elements that must be optimized for mobile phones and tablets. Without these elements being able to automatically change based on screen size the user will get frustrated with the lack of functionality on the site. Or they may not be able to see critically important information that doesn’t load the way it is supposed to on their smartphone screen. The essential elements of responsive mobile website design include elements like:

Columns On Mobile Friendly Websites

Columns keep websites looking tidy and make it easy for viewers to skim the information on the page. Many businesses use a website with at least two columns so that the text on the page is broken up and so that important information is easy for readers to find just by scanning the page. But on the small display of a smartphone screen columns can appear off centre, or they can overlap, or they may not show up at all. A responsive site will usually have just one column of adaptive text that can be viewed the same way on a smartphone as it can be on a desktop.

Important information like contact information and other menu items can be shifted to a drop-down menu so that customers can easily find that information but it doesn’t interfere with the presentation of the main column. On smartphones, a drop-down menu is usually indicated by a small tab with three lines on it at the top of the page display. That lets readers know that they can click on that tab to access the menu links and information.

Navigation Links On A Mobile Optimized Website

Typically, navigation links are found at the top of a webpage. Putting the navigation links at the top of the page keep the page from looking cluttered and makes it easier for readers to find exactly the information that they are looking for. But, when your readers are looking at your website from a mobile phone or a tablet having those navigation links at the top can make it harder for them to get around the page.

Links at the top of the page can be difficult to tap, especially if there are ads on the page. And when your customers and readers can’t easily manoeuvre your website they will just click away and you will lose their business. Mobile friendly websites have links tucked out of sight on drop-down menus or included in the middle of the page or at the bottom of the page.

It’s also important to make sure that the links are set up to be easily clickable. Links that have very short text can be difficult to tap, and that means readers have to try and enlarge them and then zoom in to tap the link and follow it. Links with larger amounts of text make the links easier to follow when using a touchscreen device. Finding the right length for an outgoing link is essential when creating a responsible mobile-optimized website that will be easy to for consumers and readers to use on any smartphone.

Photos For A Mobile Website

Photos are another extremely important element of mobile-friendly websites. Photos are what will ultimately make a customer decide to buy an item. And sharing photos on social media is a fantastic way that your customers and readers can share their ideas and products they like with their friends and family members. But if the photos on your website aren’t mobile friendly they will look terrible or not show up at all which won’t do your image any good.

Mobile friendly website photos need to have no set value in order to adapt to different screens and different mediums. If you set an absolute size value on a photo that photo will stay the same size on every screen but it will look warped, bent, and terrible depending on the screen. Adaptative photos can resize themselves to fit into the optics of the screen that they are being viewed on so that they always look great no matter what size the screen is.

Mobile optimized websites need to use a lot of photos because consumers surfing on smartphones respond best to clear and crisp photos. Making sure that your mobile-friendly website has the right photo settings so that your photos always look good is probably the most important thing that you can do to make sure your website is going to look good enough to impress customers.