Mobile website design is full of potential pitfalls. Pitfall No.1 is trying to square a circle. Just because something works in the context of a desktop platform, in no way guarantees its success in the universe of smartphones or even tablets. Before long, 30% of traffic (and more) will be coming through mobile. This is not a peripheral skirmish anymore. It’s the main event.
Responsive or Not
Some people claim that responsive sites are not fast enough and that dedicated mobile sites are still the way to go. Other people claim that these dedicated sites are too expensive and time-consuming. Whatever you decide to do, the important thing is to isolate your core content and replicate it across the board. Isolate your core message and don’t let it get lost in the mess of platforms and technologies. Mobile website design should not get in the way of your basic value proposition.
Streamlining Your Checkout Process
What few businesses are allowing for is the change of pace that occurs in a shift to mobile, especially in relation to ecommerce. When people use mobile they are very often on the move. They are walking down the street, rushing down the hall to the canteen, sitting on a bus etc. They are between trains, between thoughts, between motivations. Their tolerance for obtrusive or nonsensical workflows, are far lower than if they were sitting in front of a PC or laptop. Time is at a premium. Any jolt in the rhythm of their journey might send them spiraling in another mental direction. If your business plan is to sell things online, you better have an efficient checkout process.
Mobile website design is all about making the experience intuitive for the customer. The longer you hold them up and the more obstacles you place in front of them, the more likely it is they’ll abandon the purchase. And that’s another wasted conversion, another bounce, another dissatisfied customer…
With every technology and trend come new behavioral patterns. The vital thing to understand is that mobile isn’t simply being used for specific tasks. For many people, the Internet exists now primarily on a phone. There is a tendency to see mobile users in terms of limitations and to design sites with these limitations in mind, but in fact mobile users don’t think in terms of limitations. They think in terms of possibilities. Increasingly they want their mobile browsing experience to fulfill the same requirements as their desktop browsers. Mobile website design has to take this into account and become ever more dynamic and comprehensive.