Website Design

Mobile Website Design Best Practices In 2024 – Forbes Advisor

Mobile Website Design Best Practices In 2024 – Forbes Advisor

There are many factors to consider when optimizing a website experience for mobile devices. Whether you are designing a completely new website for mobile first or you are transitioning an existing website to be mobile-friendly, leverage these design best practices.

Build your page with thumbs in mind

When designing the layout of your website, don’t forget that mobile users navigate primarily with their thumbs. Certain menu styles that work just fine on desktops when using a mouse can be frustrating for someone on mobile. Create more real estate on your page for clumsy thumbs by spreading out links and buttons—and keep them away from edges of the page if possible.

Increase button size and readability

Speaking of thumbs, you’ll definitely want to make sure your buttons are the appropriate size so users can easily and deliberately activate them with a thumb press. Be sure your buttons are self-descriptive as well so users know where they lead or what they do. Use commonly understood symbols or imagery, such as a magnifying glass for the search function.

Refine your copy

Being concise with copy is of the utmost importance when designing for mobile. What may appear like a reasonable amount of text on desktop can be overwhelming on a small screen. Review all copy posted on your pages and only present relevant information to your visitors, especially on your home page. Going with succinct, shorter copy prevents your site from appearing cluttered. More importantly, it helps to focus attention on calls to action.

You also should review the format of your text, including size, color and font, to make sure it’s all readable on a smaller screen. For instance, stylized cursive fonts can look great on big screens but are difficult to read when scaled down.

Optimize your images

Using image formats that are common to desktop web design can result in longer loading times for your website, which in turn can deter visitors from your content. Formats, such as JPEG 2000, AVIF and WebP, are lightweight and will have a smaller overall impact on loading times than JPEG and PNG. Compress your images to limit the file size and lower image resolution as much as you can without sacrificing the quality.

Increase loading speed

The faster your website loads, the better experience your visitors will have. There are many ways to increase loading speed that differ depending on your design choices. Some examples include minimizing HTTP requests, enabling browser caching and using a content delivery network (CDN). If you have images, spend some time optimizing them (see above). If you have videos, host them on third-party sites and then embed them onto your page—reducing their effect on your page’s load time.

Use responsive web design

Websites that are designed exclusively for desktop usually translate poorly to mobile devices as is. Text becomes tiny and menus can be difficult to interact with. Responsive web design solves this problem by coding your website’s various elements to adapt to different screen sizes.

Making your website responsive is a great way to deliver the best web experience to visitors no matter how they view your content. Additionally, Google recognizes responsive web design as mobile-friendly, which results in higher search result rankings for your website. Using responsive web design can bring you more exposure via SEO and help you retain more visitors, since you’re delivering an optimal experience on both desktop and mobile.

Simplify your layout

In mobile web design, less is definitely more. When a user visits your website, you want them to know immediately how to navigate to where they want to go. Include only the essentials and refrain from using too many fancy design elements. If your website has multiple pages, consider using well-placed vertical drop-down menus or include a search feature for easier navigation.

Include clear calls to action

The best web designs include call-to-action elements that guide visitors to their next steps. Be sure to always include a clear and concise call to action—and place it in an obvious spot. In mobile design, these elements are often obscured if the layout is too cluttered or the call to action is in an inconvenient location.

Refine with analytics and testing

Be sure to regularly test your website on mobile devices of varying sizes to ensure your design works properly. If you have the know-how, use Google Analytics to get better insight into how users interact with your site. Knowing which elements users ignore can help you clean up your interface and remove unnecessary clutter. Conversely, uncovering popular paths users take through your website can inform you on how to refine those experiences.

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