5 Mobile Web Design Mistakes to Avoid
Mobile devices like phones and tablets are the dominant devices used to access the internet, and this trend will only continue. The traffic of many websites is already approaching or exceeding being 90% from mobile sources, and this just outlines how important it is to prioritize mobile web design when building a website.
Giving your mobile traffic a bad web experience risks alienating most of your potential customers. Here are five of the most common and damaging mistakes you can make when developing for mobile, and how to avoid them.
Only Optimising a Vertical or Horizontal Orientation
Most device users prefer to hold their phone vertically a lot of the time because this makes it easier to use with one hand and allows them to continue doing other things at the same time. However, a proportion of your mobile traffic is using larger tablets or simply prefer using their phones in landscape orientation.
If your site only remains functional in a single orientation, you force users to use their device in a way that they don’t like, and this can create a negative impression of your website. Often this is only a minor annoyance, but they simply won’t choose to shop from you now or in the future if your competitor gives them a more comfortable and user-friendly experience.
Always ensure that your site can function adequately in both the vertical or horizontal orientation, and don’t try to force users to turn their devices because it creates a poor user experience.
Bloated Site Architecture
Mobile devices are often used on mobile internet, and this can be costly for a lot of users. Connections can often also be slow, and that’s why a bloated site architecture is bad in mobile web design. In addition, mobile devices may not have a lot of memory or processing power, and this can lead to users who are multi-tasking with apps experiencing slow loading on your website through no fault of your own if your site is overly complex.
Simpler is better if you can manage it. This means simplifying the layout, number of images, and general density of multimedia on your site and making smart decisions like not forcing videos to play on mobile. A lot of web developers also make the mistake of putting too much bloated scripting into a website though.
Not Optimising User Experience
Many of these mistakes affect aspects of the user experience negatively, and that’s why they can be so harmful. Optimising how user-friendly your site is helps to make it a joy to use and avoids annoying your users or outright causing them to leave. It’s also important for maximizing search traffic because elements of the user experience are built into Google’s search algorithms.
Given the importance of user-friendly design, it’s amazing that so many websites make glaring, simple mistakes like significant layout shifts as the page loads. Elements spaced too closely together or too small to be interacted with using touch controls, or videos and banners that block the actual content of a page all annoy visitors and may result in them leaving.
Not Testing Multiple Devices and Screen Sizes
Responsive web design can be difficult. CSS makes it easier than it once was, but the sheer number of different devices on the market and the differences in screen sizes means that a layout that is perfect on one device can break on another, or even on the same device that is turned on its side.
The only way to get around this problem is to emulate your website on many different devices and screen sizes and keep adding more breakpoints in your design until you can cover most of the common devices. You won’t be able to suit everyone, but you should at least be able to provide a good experience on popular devices and a passable experience on everything else.
Un-optimised Popups and Subscription Forms
The last common and annoying problem that a lot of mobile users face consists of popups and subscription forms that block the main content of a page. Not only is this going against good search engine optimisation practices after Google’s Page Experience update, but it also can result in visitors simply bouncing back to search if the popup banner is badly optimised for their device and they can’t click out of it.
Creating a mobile-friendly website with a great user experience is truly paramount to maximizing conversions and customer satisfaction. If you keep the user at the forefront of your mind whenever you make design decisions, you can create a website that is a pleasure to use and reinforces a message of quality and satisfaction concerning your brand.