Creating a Useful & Effective Mobile Web Site

Creating a Useful & Effective Mobile Web Site

In the ever changing World Wide Web, designers and web site owners are always trying to keep pace with users, making sure to give them the best experience possible. In the past year, internet usage on mobile devices is estimated to have grown more than 20%, and it’s not slowing down. It’s no wonder site proprietors are scrambling to cater to these users. In 2008, an estimated 59.5 million people used their mobile phone to browse the internet. That number is estimated to grow to 73.7 million by the end of 2009 (23% growth) and up to 134.3 million by 2013 (125% growth)1.

And of course, all this growth presents a variety of differing opinions on how best to give these users what they’re looking for, like Bruce Lawson’s “one web” concept and Jakob Nielsen’s findings in his “mobile usability sucks” study.

So here are some things you should know that will help make your mobile web site more useful and effective:

1. Content is King

No matter the audience or the medium, content is always king. If someone comes to your restaurant’s web site looking for a menu and find a bunch of pictures, they’re probably not going to stick around. They may not even visit your establishment. Provide the visitor with relevant content and they’ll come back with friends.

2. Focus on The Task

Users visit web sites for a specific reason. Again, regardless of the audience and the method, make sure the user can accomplish the task they set out to do. Flickr’s mobile site is perfect in that way… I go to flickr to look at photos. Flickr Mobile gets me to the photos fast!

3. Scale the Design and Deliver It Quick

Probably one of the major differences that should exist between your “desktop” site and your mobile site. Fast load time is important always, but it becomes more critical on mobile devices. Not to mention there’s simply not enough space for extra design elements. Since those elements can slow down load time, getting rid of some of them serve a two-fold purpose.

4. Usable Sites Get Used

If your site is difficult to use, hard to navigate or aesthetically unpleasing, chances are your visitors will go visit your competition. Organize your site and makes it easy to use by answering the task and content questions.

5. Make User Input Easy

When users are required to give feedback, it needs to be easy as pie (food, not irrational number). If your site requires users to enter their zip code or authentication credentials, if they can’t do it easily, they won’t – they’ll leave.

Some Great Mobile Websites:

1. Flickr
2. Twitter
3. Amazon
4. CNN
5. FlighStats

Need Some Help With That?

You’re saying, “All that’s well fine and good…. what do i do now?” Well, I’m glad you asked. Firestorm Creative Studios can help you put together the perfect mobile web site that’s easy to use and easy to maintain. Read more about our mobile web site design or get in touch to find out how we can help your site go mobile! And if you get a second, check out our site on your mobile device!

Citations:

1. http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1007236

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About the Author

Cecil KillingsworthOnline marketing strategist, web designer, developer, photographer and father of two. I love digital design and marketing, and using it to help my clients finally see results online.View all posts by Cecil Killingsworth

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