Mobile devices account for approximately half of web traffic worldwide. In the first quarter of 2021, mobile devices generated 54.8% of global website traffic. That figure significantly increases once you include larger mobile devices such as tablets.
Consequently, your business website must invoke the best mobile responsive design principles to provide an excellent user experience for potential customers arriving at your site on a mobile device.
With that in mind, we’ll run through the crucial elements of responsive web design you need to take note of to ensure your website is fit for purpose in a mobile-dominated world.
Pursue Mobile-First Design for Your Site
While this is undoubtedly an overarching principle rather than a specific feature, it’s an important element to mention all the same. Mobile traffic is only increasing its slice of the internet-device pie, which means you need to take a mobile-first approach to your website’s design.
In practice, this means designing your website with mobiles in mind. With less space to work with, creating the website on the smaller device first forces you to focus on the most crucial information.
This burgeoning principle of responsive design marks a progression from the idea of trying to squeeze everything from your desktop site onto a smaller screen, which often leaves your site looking clunky. Working backwards in that manner leaves you with a site that is neither fun nor intuitive.
So, with your blank mobile canvas, focus on the priorities. Ask yourself what your ideal user needs when first arriving at your homepage. If you’re a software company, perhaps they will be searching for a free trial? If you’re a football club, then it could be tickets to games or recent results. The needs differ from company to company. Along with your web designer, you will need to decide what is most important to your organisation.
Implement Easy Website Navigation
A website is next to useless if your visitors can’t quickly get where they need to go once they arrive. However, the issue is that mobiles often truncate desktop menus, making them display incorrectly. Again, by starting with the mobile version of your site first, you can make navigation both straightforward and intuitive.
The most common approach is to use a hamburger menu, which condenses a website’s navigation menu down to three lines (that look similar to a hamburger, hence the name). It keeps the navigational elements tucked away and keeps your visitor’s attention focused on that page’s content.
However, even though the hamburger menu is slowly becoming ubiquitous, plenty of internet users are unfamiliar with the concept. Instead, you may be better served to hide the full menu behind the word “MENU” to eliminate any guesswork.
It’s a case of horses for courses. But condensing your menu is a crucial element of mobile responsive web design.
Optimise Your Website Images
Despite the continual improvement in internet speeds and the continuing rollout of 5G, your images still play a crucial role in responsive design and their impact on load speeds in particular. You could have the most beautiful site with perfect functionality, but you won’t enjoy much success if it takes forever to load your images.
Thus you need to optimise your images on two counts. The first is reducing file size to ensure that your images load quickly. Google now measures how long it takes to load your First Contentful Paint (FCP) (when all meaningful elements have loaded on your page) as part of the Core Web Vitals update. The longer your images take to load, the longer to FCP and the worse your score will be concerning Core Web Vitals.
Secondly, you need to ensure that the images resize appropriately to the screen upon which they are viewed. As part of the same update, Google will also penalise you if your images jump around during loading or display incorrectly on mobile devices.
These tweaks usually require the help of a professional web designer who uses a combination of theme coding and plugins to ensure your images don’t let you down.
Pay Attention to Pop-ups
We all know how important it is to add a subscriber to your email list or draw an online shopper’s attention to a flash sale on your e-commerce site. However, your pop-ups could be doing more harm than good if not correctly adjusted to mobile screens.
While a pop-up might take up a small percentage of the screen on desktop, that same pop-up could block most of your page’s content on mobile, annoying your users and causing them to leave your website.
While Google is encouraging web admins to move away from pop-ups altogether (especially adverts), tasteful pop-ups still have their place as long as they are well-executed. Again, with mobile-first design principles guiding your decisions, you can alter your pop-ups to become far less intrusive on smaller screens, improving the overall user experience of your site.
Partner with Hampshire’s Leading Web Design Experts for Your Mobile-First Website
Whether you like it or not, internet traffic is slowly but surely going mobile. More people than ever before consume websites while on the go through their mobile devices. Furthermore, that trend is only set to accelerate over the coming decade.
As a result, it’s imperative to ensure your website performs well on mobile devices. Not only will it help you retain visitors to your site, but it will please search engines such as Google and help you increase your ranking positions within search results.
At McGinn & Dolphin, we are guided by mobile-first web design principles that future-proof your site against upcoming internet trends. We design our sites with mobiles in mind, helping you to leave your competitors with desktop-inspired websites behind.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you design a website that looks and feels great on all devices, then why not book a discovery call with a member of our team today?