Mobile Websites Advice from the SMX West 2012 Experts
It is not new news that users are demanding websites to be mobile compatible. Mobile users are on-the-go and need information immediately. Typically, they are viewing mobile websites while they are multitasking. Of the SMX 2012 panelists, Kelli Kimpton, Director of Digital Strategy at 352 Media Group calls presented the concept of cognitive strain, which is the amount of information the mobile user can process at a single time. Since mobile users can be doing anything at any time when they are looking at a site, it’s important for mobile website to provide short pieces of information. Overwhelming users will cause the users to not take any action or leave the website.
So here is a list of mobile websites best practices recommended:
- Keep it quick. Compress images.
- Use large, well-padded buttons that are easy to press with a thumb.
- Insert text “Call” in front of phone numbers to alert the user the phone number is a clickable link.
- Create high contrast between background color and text color.
- Use contrasting size, color, 3D effects to indicate priority text.
- Make the design consistent with the desktop website.
- Reduce large blocks of content. Use bullets.
- Reduce the number of required fields in any form to just the most important fields.
- Create mobile-only discounts and promotions. Entice the user to engage or revisit.
- Primary navigation bar must be vertical. Minimize scrolling.
- Have a clear “Home” button.
- Always have a link to shows your store location on a map so user can retrieve directions.
- You must have a mobile booking engine. (For example, you will not convert users if users have a great experience on a mobile website, but then go to a non-mobile booking engine that is hard to navigate through.)
- Use HTML 5, never Flash.
- Make sure the website will orient itself both vertically and horizontally.
- Program with the network in mind (WiFi vs 3G) more so than thinking Android vs. iPhone. It is the network that will cause delay in download time, not the phone.
- Input contextual keyboards. (For example, when a user clicks on the text field to enter a phone number, make sure the mobile phone’s keyboard appears so the user can enter numbers.)
- Run test mobile link through GoMoMeter at HowToGoMo.com to get Google’s rating on how well your mobile website will perform.
- Consider developing an app instead of a mobile website only if your site will require media manipulation (like voice recognition) or if the user needs to enter and save highly sensitive information (like credit card information or a shopping cart.)
Nowadays, almost every website should have a mobile website. Users are not only using their mobile devices for search, but some users are entirely dependent on mobile devices for all the searches. Therefore, use this guide as a checklist to ensure that you are using the latest marketing trends for highly optimized mobile website.
Moderator: Greg Sterling, Founding Principal, Sterling Market Intelligence
Q&A Moderator: Kelly Gillease, VP Marketing, Viator
Anand Chandrasekaran, Sr. Director, Global Product Strategy & Product Management,
Mobile Search & Commerce, Yahoo!
Bruce Ernst, Vice President, Product Management, Monetate
Masha Fisch, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Google
Kelli Kimpton, Director of Digital Strategy, 352 Media Group
Contributed by Nelson Toriano, Sr. eStrategist