Common Web Design Mistakes For Mobile Optimized Sites

In 2013, America crossed over: more than 50 percent of the country owns a Smartphone. Naturally, this number is only expected to increase over the next few years, meaning more and more Americans will be snapping, texting, and surfing the web from their phones. But what will they see when they access your website? Now is the time to not only make sure your website is mobile friendly, but mobile optimized. You might think you’re on top of it, but these are a few mistakes you might be missing.

You Bring a Desktop Mentality to the Mobile Game

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Image via Flickr by mjaniec

The fact is, many desktop websites don’t look good on mobile interfaces. Mobile sites need to be more vertical than desktop sites are. If your desktop site has categories horizontally across the top and you plan the same thing for your mobile pages, then you’re on the wrong track.

Look at other apps and websites that you like and pick out which elements make them user-friendly, and then apply them to your design. Put yourself in the mind of a user and the conversions will follow.

You Make Your Contact Information Unreachable

For many B2C companies, including contact information like addresses, emails, and phone numbers is just as important as including the product offering. Check your mobile site, can visitors click to call your phone number or do they have to dial your number from one screen to another? Can they open your address in Google Maps to find you? If your contact information isn’t easily accessible, then you could be frustrating customers.

Depending on your business, you might want to highlight your contact information on your mobile homepage. For example, a pizza parlor would need its number at the forefront and its address for diners to come and pick up their pies. Include contacting your business as your call to action to really drive the optimization home.

You Punish Users for Not Downloading Your App

We understand that you put significant time and money into developing an app, and you want to build your returning visitorbase by having them download it, but don’t punish visitors who don’t want to download it with a poor mobile site. Your mobile site needs to come first and your app second.

Make sure users are able to click around and engage with your brand just as easily as if they were on your app or desktop. Maybe this is their first time engaging with your brand, so don’t create a bad first impression because your mobile budget was spent entirely on app development.

Your Buttons Are Way Too Small for the Average Finger

As you test your mobile site, do you find yourself pinching your fingers apart to make icons and text larger? If so, your customers are going to have to do the same and won’t appreciate the work. Squinting their eyes and zooming will make your users annoyed with your brand, so keep this in mind when you’re developing. The more your visitors can do with just their thumbs, the happier they’ll be when interacting with your page.

Also, if your desktop has a pop-up banner, consider disabling it for your mobile site. Oftentimes clicking out of a mobile pop-up involves a lot of zooming, and your conversion rate will suffer from mobile users accidentally clicking when they’re trying to exit.

Your Forms Are Long and Complicated

Long, complicated forms are a bad idea for desktop or mobile, but they’re especially painful for mobile users. Test your forms with multiple users and take not of where they get tripped up, then evaluate if the field is actually needed. For example, if you want users to sign up for your e-newsletter, they just really need to submit their email and maybe their name. Skip the fields asking for their number, industry, and even address – some businesses do it! Also make sure you test the ability of new forms on multiple cell phones to make sure you’re not isolating users by device.

There are many ugly and difficult mobile websites out there, and yours doesn’t have to be one of them. Follow these tips and think like your customer, and your site will be better than you ever imagined.

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