Software testing methodologies have transformed a great deal in the past few decades. These advancements have led to better results and reduced time and effort. Aside from simpler undertaking, there was one more reason for these renovations: the emergence of new products and technologies. Adaptation is an apodictic requirement now.
Mobile telephones arrived for effortless communication on the go. However, with time, these portable telephones started to take over more than one aspect of our lives. From communicating with mostly known individuals we have progressed to connecting with the whole world’s database using the internet. The cellular went from being a mini telephone to be a mini-computer.
Now developers started to build sites for mobiles as well. And after more technological advances, we made websites flexible and modifying. Today there’s no need to treat mobile websites as a separate project, rather the same one is adjusted to suit the smaller screens.
According to the tech giant Google, all new websites have to be tailored as mobile-first by default. This decision has proved to be miraculous for switching from desktop to mobile version. The mobile-first strategy is actually an effective marketing technique considering the popularity of smartphones. The confidence in and expectations from the mobile sites are actually huge. However, it is not that difficult to fulfil these suppositions as we all as ardent mobile users know what’s and how’s of smartphone operation. You do need time, energy and resources to yield the desired results. But worry not; even though there are challenges, there’s plenty of help and guidance too.
Some of the benefits of the mobile-first approach are:
- You reach a larger number and variety of customers.
- The use of social media marketing, Chabot’s etc. build a more secure relationship with clients and in turn strengthen the brand name.
- This policy helps you in providing a grander customer experience thus generating better revenue.
Now that you know the gains, you must have been convinced to adopt the mobile-first plan of action. This article focuses on 9 such practices that pave the way for developing efficient mobile-centric websites. Read on and follow these pieces of advice to become a pro in the mobile-first strategy.
Start from small
With over 80% of the digital crowd using their phones to navigate the internet, winning over the mobile platform must be the first goal. For this, start by building the website for the smallest applicable screen first. Working on a smaller browser will give you an explicit idea of how to utilize the available limited space. As it is easier to expand than to compress, beginning with a tinier screen helps reduce the appearance of quite a few bugs and the site is also future-friendly meaning it would be easier to adapt to larger screen sizes. Additionally, the content placement is done perfectly as the quality isn’t degraded because of transitioning to the mini version.
The minimalist outlook
A website becomes admirable because of its content. It takes a lot to make your content relevant. And for a mobile website, it needs to be short and light for the reader. It’s a must to convey your prospect in a neat and concise manner and not to bombard the user with information. A messy website is undesirable, so is an annoyingly short one. Keep your website simple yet informative.
Some tips for developing sophisticated content for your website:
- Increase white spaces.
- Chop down the number of pages.
- Choose an uncomplicated font and enlarge the font size to make everything easier to read.
- Go for clean lines and wider borders.
- Give the search and other icons, a chic and distinguished design.
- Do not compromise on functionality for beautification.
- Utilize the negative spaces, colours, fonts and graphics cleverly to highlight the important stuff.
The minimalist approach makes the website look elegant. The loading becomes faster too which impresses the audience even more.
Responsiveness and Adaptability
Despite the subtleties of these two design practices, they share a mutual purpose – building a scalable website layout that can fit every device, browser or OS it interacts with.
When most websites had to redevelop their designs for the mobile web, there was nominal imagery and text heaviness for faster loading.
With enhanced internet speeds, larger screen sizes and the era of tablets, there’s no need to manually produce a mobile-responsive version of any webpage. A webpage template or any landing page editor automatically creates a smartphone-friendly variant.
Few things to look out for:
- Authenticate the image sizes and order of the content.
- Review the animations and videos involved and try to avoid videos as they significantly affect the loading speed.
Judicious UX and UI
It goes without saying that if the users don’t have an effortless and delightful journey across your website, they won’t be able to give the requisite attention to your products. Mobile UX is more complicated than desktop UX, hence requiring more care and diligence to craft.
So what can you do to fabricate a welcoming aura for your website? Let’s find out:
- Keep in mind the navigation habits of the users. Most of us scroll our phone screens with only one of our thumbs. That’s why the best arrangement is to keep the primary components of the website in the centre of the webpage (“the hot spot”) and the secondary and tertiary ones towards the screen’s outer edges.
- Ensure the “touch-friendliness” of your website functionalities.
- Avoid full-width buttons or banner looking brand information as they resemble advertisements.
- Optimize the forms to be short and sweet. Cut down the number of form fields to stay clear of an endless form. Also, assign proper keyboards for every field.
- A progress indicator bar is also a striking feature. This type of crisp detailing informs the visitor about how much of their task is left.
- Place the search bar at the top and make it recognizable.
- Make your ‘contact us’ page functional by converting your websites, email addresses and phone numbers mentioned into clickable links and buttons.
Stay away from intrusive interstitials
Pop-ups are hateful. So much so that Ethan Zuckerman, the inventor of pop-ups, apologized for his pesky creation. Pop-up ads irk us by jumping in and disrupting the flow of our navigation. Sometimes they even conquer the whole screen and are hard to get rid of, making it impossible to view the content. On the smaller screen of a mobile, it is even more infuriating.
In order to combat these vexing bits, Google has also started to decrease the search rankings of pages with intrusive interstitials. Hence it is recommended to dodge these. And if they aren’t totally unavoidable for you, try to corner the popups or shift to the bottom of the page escorted with the option to click and remove it at the very least.
CTA and Graphics
CTAs are navigation buttons or animations that let the user explore your website in ways you want them to. For instance, the ‘sign up or login’ buttons represent CTA.
The design of your CTA buttons must be consistent on the phones. If it gets tricky, incorporate the main CTA feature in the hamburger menu but highlight it appropriately.
Not only the CTA, but the whole page must also be captivating to impress your audience. Here are some suggestions that can come in handy to you:
- Colours: Use vibrant colours, but refrain from colours so bright that they put a strain on the eyes. Experiment with contrasting colour schemes, and gradients and duotones.
- Shapes & patterns: Play with geometrical shapes and abstract patterns, hand-drawn illustrations, and real photographs.
- Typography: The neatness and readability of your web content decide the number of time people will spend on your site and it’s even more notable on mobile screen display. Maintain a balance between the font sizes of various headings and the body of the content.
A lot can change with the page load speed
What if people don’t get to see what your business offers because your webpage didn’t load before their patience ran out? The only thing that can prevent this from happening is prioritizing your page’s speed. The quicker your page loads the lower is the bounce rate, which in turn results in an exponential rise in the dwell time of the users.
The page load speed is crucial to your mobile SEO strategy. Ensure an on-time loading of your webpage with these tips:
- Minimising code wherever possible.
- Reducing overload of graphics by replacing images with codes.
- Work on boosting server response time.
- Deploy browser caching.
- Enforce Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to upgrade site performance with Google’s mobile-first indexing.
A word of advice: it is best to inspect your page’s load behaviour before the final launch. Try the LT Browser – a mobile-friendly checker tool. This one’s a lifesaver for me. Check out your website on 50+ screen sizes and examine every aspect of it. There’s no hassle of constantly switching between screens as you can utilize two different screen sizes simultaneously. The screen size collection encompasses almost every possibility of dimensions a website can encounter. If you still can’t find your desired fit, just customize one as the LT Browser has all the necessary resources too. Here’s a little preview to give you an idea:
While SEO is for search engine rankings, ASO (app store optimization) is for improving the app store ranking. In today’s smartphone dominant era, apps have become an indispensable part of our lives. Therefore producing an app version of your enterprise is pivotal. Just like your website has to follow certain protocols to find a good place in Google’s search results, your app must also follow a definite strategy to enhance its visibility in the app stores.
Follow these simple tips and obtain a higher ranking in the app store:
- The name and description of your app must contain keywords.
- Incorporate attractive screenshots and images.
- Add regional modifications.
ASO is a valuable and profitable practice that improves retention rates and increases ROI and puts you ahead in the race.
Present a people-pleasing design
At the end of the day, be it a website, or an app, it is going to be used by humans. So whatever comes up on the screen must be practical and pragmatic for the people. In short, design for the people, not the device.
Never forget to perform usability testing. This is the user-centric way of examining products to get an outlook of the real users towards your product. Usability testing defines behaviour and understanding of the public.
In addition, localize your apps and websites. Customize your services as per the people of any area. I personally use the LambdaTest Geolocation Testing to ensure my site’s best performance every time, everywhere.
Even if you’ve just begun your web development journey, these design considerations will aid you to become an expert in optimizing user experience. And the ultimate tip: testing, testing, and testing. You cannot risk rolling out your product into the world without assessing its capabilities against the real scenario. Just pick out any habile testing tool from the array available in the market and scan your website’s rendition. My recommendation would be the LT Browser, a mobile-friendly website tester that tests and debugs the mobile view of your site. Catch, report and discuss the problems in your site’s performance and upgrade it to its finest self.