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Mobile website design in 2020: What you need to know

Mobile web design is a critical component of your online business. The majority of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile devices and this trend continues to grow year by year. Businesses that do not optimize their website for mobile risk falling behind and losing out on visitors and conversions to an ever increasing degree.

Implementing a responsive web design optimizes your website on all devices. In this article, we will discuss the importance of responsive web design as well as what makes a website mobile-friendly, and I will also share some practical tips on the best way to optimize your website for the way your visitors browse in 2020.

Let’s take a look.

What is responsive web design?

Responsive web design is a type of website design that allows web pages to display on all devices by automatically adapting to the size of the screen. With responsive web design, your website can provide a quality experience to users whether they’re on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Responsive web design works using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The CSS files use varying settings to display different style properties based on the screen size, resolution, color capability, and other aspects of a user’s device.

Why is mobile web design important?

During the first quarter of 2020, mobile devices were responsible for a massive 51.9% of all web traffic around the world. It is the third quarter in a row where mobile traffic has been greater than desktop traffic.

With more users turning to mobile devices as their primary means of accessing the web, it has never been more essential to have a mobile-friendly web design. Here are some of the most important reasons why mobile web design is so important.

  • Google is switching to mobile-first indexing: With mobile-first indexing, Google will use the mobile version of websites as the baseline when determining search engine rankings. This update is set for September 2020.
  • Helps to build credibility: Users take note of websites they have great experiences with. With a responsive website design, your users will have a consistent experience across all of their devices. This encourages your visitors to view you as a credible source for products or information, and prevents you from losing conversions and inquiries due to one device’s experience being more unwieldy than another.
  • Allows you to reach more customers: Prioritizing your mobile web design will help you expand your customer base quickly. A mobile-friendly website will rank higher for mobile searches and make it easy for the massive number of mobile users to find your site.

What makes a website mobile-friendly?

The user experience on mobile devices is inherently different from that of a desktop or laptop due to the size (and aspect ratio) of the screen. A good mobile website design must make the most of the space that is available and not clutter the screen with unnecessary elements.

With a desktop display, it is easy to use a landscape arrangement and place elements side-by-side. You also have ample space for a navigation menu with several different items.

However, this is not the case for mobile devices. There is simply not enough room on the screen to have items placed side-by-side when viewing a website in portrait mode. This is why it is best practice for mobile-friendly designs to stack page elements on top of each other in a single column. It allows the user to only need to scroll up and down to navigate the page, instead of having to scroll side to side as well or risk losing out on additional links, images and other content that they should be able to see.

Let’s go through some design tips you can use to optimize your mobile web design.

Use simple menus

There simply isn’t enough space on mobile devices for the massive menus you see on desktops to be displayed in the same way. Mobile-friendly sites don’t display menu items directly on the page. Instead, they typically show a symbol indicating a menu, which after tapping, displays an easy to read menu, covering the entire screen with clear, simple to understand options.

Make the search feature easy to find

This is essential for mobile ecommerce web design. Navigating a product catalog is more tedious on mobile devices as you can not view nearly as much at the same time. Placing the search feature in a prominent position can help users find what they are looking for much easier.

Make the text properly readable

This sounds simple, yet, it is an often overlooked aspect of mobile web design. 

Users should be able to read everything on your pages without needing to zoom in or scroll side to side. Having to constantly zoom and scroll will push users away from your site in a hurry. Avoid this by making sure your text is large enough for users to read on any device.

Avoid popups on mobile devices

Popups have their use case and place – mobile devices are not either. Users do not want to have their browsing experience interrupted by a popup that covers the whole screen and is hard to close.

Plus, Google is not a fan of popups on mobile devices either. The search engine will penalize websites that serve certain types of popups on mobile devices – primarily any pop-up that covers the main content or must be closed before a user can view the page.

Unless it is for cookie or age verification, it is best to avoid all popups on mobile devices.  

Benefits of outsourcing website design and development

Most brands don’t have in-house web design experts, let alone the budget to source a team of them to design, edit, and maintain a professional website. Outsourcing web design has become a standard practice for many businesses as it is cost-effective, easily scalable, and doesn’t require the time and human resource investment of an in-house team. Here are some of the most important benefits of partnering with a professional web designer.

  • Experience and expertise: A professional web designer will have a vast amount of experience in developing all sorts of websites. If you hire a team they will often have a variety of specialists in important areas. In either case, you’re getting the pros to do what they do best.
  • Cost savings: Partnering with a professional web designer will cost you less than hiring full-time staff as you only need to pay for the time used and not salary, benefits, taxes, and so-on.
  • Prompt service: Professional web designers are experts at web development and move through projects much faster than an internal team. They operate in a competitive industry and must consistently deliver on time to keep clients satisfied.
  • Allows you to focus on your business: When you are free from worrying about every little detail of your website, you have more time and energy to focus on your core strengths and the value that your business provides. Being the boss doesn’t mean doing everything yourself. Delegate specialized tasks to the specialists.

Implementing a responsive web design will ensure your site is user friendly on all devices and boost sales

A mobile-friendly web design can go a long way in winning and retaining new customers. 

Outsourcing website design and development to a professional web designer is a cost-effective way to build a great website that will serve you for years to come. You can leverage the expertise and experience of professionals, saving you time to grow your business and make the important decisions.

Being your own boss is hard enough. Does your brand website need some TLC? Is your website design out of date or do you need to ensure scalability because your business is growing quickly? Is it poorly optimized for smartphones, tablets, and the future of mobile devices? Get in touch! Seedling Digital offers years of experience in strategic branding and design, custom WordPress web development, SEO and hosting services to allow you to concentrate on being the boss and getting back to doing what you do best.

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