By now, we hope you have read the writing on the wall and developed a strategy for emphasizing mobile-friendly web page development. Brands that have got on board with this trend are already enjoying the added visibility, usability and preferential treatment from mobile users that mobile-centered design provides.
For those who want to keep up with the latest practices, here are four mobile trends to take note of while revising and improving your mobile strategies through the coming year:
Get Google’s Approval
Google began boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly sites some time back in 2013. Now, they even label certain sites as mobile friendly for users. Their ultimate goal is to provide results that they think users will want while making their browsing experience more pleasant.
You can now see what Google thinks of your mobile site at any time by inputting any URL into their handy Mobile-Friendly Analyzer. Go ahead and check this tool with every adjustment or update you make to your site. It will give you reasons that it thinks mobile users will or will not enjoy their browsing experience on your site, and you can correct them as needed.
Strongly Consider Using Dynamic or Responsive Designs Rather Than a Separate Site
When mobile devices were still in their infancy, creating a special page just for them made sense. You wanted to give them the “lite” version to make sure that everything worked well.
Now that mobile devices are more like specialized versions of the computers we use every day, making mobile users sit at “the kids table” makes less and less sense. Allowing your existing web site to respond or change according to the user’s device lets you have a consistent design for your pages no matter how they are viewed.
Furthermore, all sites will need some measure of responsiveness given the wide variety of screen sizes and display resolutions used on the hundreds of different popular mobile devices. You will need to come up with a design that looks great on normal smartphones, tablets, large smart phones, traditional monitors of all resolutions and everything in between before your site can be look consistent on all platforms. This effort may seem like a lot to ask for, but the results of looking professional and offering a great experience to all types of users is well worth it.
Use the Same Navigation Symbols as Everyone Else
As many brands experimented with the best way to enhance mobile navigation without sacrificing screen space, a few hit the right notes. Most brands now have a small banner that resides at the top of the screen with a magnifying glass for search, three lines in a row for menu options and a simple logo for returning to your home page.
Experimenting further can sometimes bear fruit, but there is also no reason to reinvent the wheel. Take cues from successful web design to ensure that your site offers a seamless navigation experience with the apps and other mobile sites users are accustomed to.
Seriously, Google is Your Friend
Appeasing the all-powerful Google bots may seem like a mystifying experience, but that is not their goal. In fact, they have gone out of their way to ensure that all brands and web developers can learn how to adjust to the mobile landscape.
Sites like “Think with Google, Mobile” give very specific pointers and best-practice guidelines along with inspiring ideas to capture your imagination. Do not limit yourself by trying to decipher all of the means and ways from scratch. Build upon what others have done and innovate in small, creative ways to work with, not against the changing face of mobile.
For help getting your site looking and running beautifully on any mobile device, we offer mobile website development services to catch you up to speed with your competitors. Our experienced web developers have the expertise to even give you a leading edge with responsive designs that are easy and fun to navigate.