More and more people are now using their tablets and smartphones to access the internet. The increasing use of such devices means that web designers need to create sites which are more responsive. Here are some tips which will help you develop a site which is mobile-friendly.
1. Make the text legible
Having text which is legible is a very important aspect of mobile design. However, many mobile designers still make the mistake of having text which is too small. Sites which have small text are also likely to have small links, thus making it difficult for users to operate the touch screen. In addition, adjusting the screen through pinch zooming will only end up distorting other elements in the web page. To avoid all these problems, you can use font solutions such as Google Fonts to identify fonts which can be read easily on mobile devices.
2. Design for fingers
When designing your site, you need to remember that mobile users normally use their index fingers or thumbs to highlight, scroll or click. Therefore, you need to ensure that all your links, menu items and buttons are large enough to be pressed using a finger. Having small links makes it easy for users to accidentally press the wrong one, thus making navigation a very frustrating experience. To make your actionable items user-friendly, they should not only be large but should also have enough space around them. This will reduce the chances of users pressing the wrong thing. However, the specific dimensions will depend on the size of the mobile device. You will need to carry out extensive testing to find out if your links and buttons are user-friendly.
3. Avoid having long forms
Generally, people don’t like filling lengthy forms. Completing forms can be especially frustrating when it comes to mobile devices. First, it is not very easy to choose the required field. Once the correct field is selected, users are then required to type in their entry on the keyboard which appears on the screen. This keyboard then needs to hidden manually before moving on to the next field. If the form is not completed properly, the user might then have to go through this frustrating process all over again. This is why it is important to keep your forms on mobile sites brief and easy to use. This is especially vital for businesses which are using mobile sites for e-commerce purposes.
4. Adopt a linear site layout
Though multiple-column layouts work well for PCs and laptops, they are not very appropriate for mobile devices. For an effective mobile design, make sure all your content is placed in one scrollable column. This eliminates the need to scroll sideways to see more content, thus saving users time. Arranging your content in a proper hierarchy also enables users to view your content in order of priority. However, when adopting a single-column layout, don’t make the mistake of hiding content. If users cannot find what they are looking for, they will end up getting frustrated.
5. Use drop-down navigation
If you want to have multiple categories on your mobile site, you could consider using a drop-down list. This will enable you to avoid filling your mobile screen space with too many elements. Generally, it would be advisable to have not more than four buttons, icons or links appearing on your screen at any one time. This way, you can make them large enough for users to click on.