Bob Dylan’s times are still a-changing and the mobile evolution revolution is ongoing. While in living memory of Generation X, the height of chic was folding broadsheets in subways, without disturbing the person in the neighboring seat. In bowler-hatted London, the gentry was still reading advertisements in ink and paper, and shopping in brick and mortar stores. Mobile and then cellular, made public transport seats seem spacious. Then tiny smartphone screens made conventional websites almost indecipherable. Today, we discuss how to optimise a website for viewing on a mobile device.
HOW TO OPTIMISE A WEBSITE FOR VIEWING ON A MOBILE DEVICE
Accept living in a mobile world with two dimensions. Subway riders pass the time away, browsing in an expanding internet store that seems as open-ended as the universe. However, when it comes to loading things in carts they use a large screen to make sure they read the small print right.
The new reality is websites come with twin personas, one for small and one for larger screens. It is baloney thinking we can download a rescaling app and bring east and west together side by side. The solution to how to optimise a website for viewing on a mobile device is to create the second website ‘from scratch. We say ‘from scratch’ because there are bits of the first that we can use.
– Other mobile users are the same as us. They face the same challenge of limited battery power, and they have little time for data-rich imaging. They want to learn the basic information quickly. Their attention span is limited. We must deliver what they want and how they want it. And nothing more than that on mobile.
– This means we have to simplify things as much as possible. What does our marketing persona need to know? If they are surfing Broadway show times, they already know what the show’s about. A simple table provides the answer, plus a ‘can we find you a good seat’ with a link.
– Knowing how to optimise a website for viewing on a mobile device starts with radically rearranging the content that survives the purge. Mobile opens slower so fancy images belong in the can. The same applies to lengthy explanations. Everything must be available by simply scrolling down a single page. Forget about scrolling across, unless you want to cause confusion, or drive the viewer nuts.
– However, do remember to retain the basics of the branding elements on your fixed website. If a mobile lead wants to engage seriously, they will be back when they have a desktop or a laptop on a steady surface with a fast connection. The transition must be seamless.
A final thought on today’s topic, of how to optimise a website for viewing on a mobile device. Always spare buckets of thought for the user’s situation, for they are mobile too, and they connect to you with fast-moving fingers. They do not have your large screen and precision pointing, clicking mouse. Always test, and test again on an iPhone and an Android. We never know reality until we experience it for ourselves.