Everyone and their mother knows that mobile device usage is on the rise. What you may not know is how precipitously the almighty desktop has fallen. Mobile now rules the dot com landscape by nearly every key metric, and experts say that trend is only going to intensify in the years ahead. Just take a look at how far mobile has come:
- 68 percent of digital media is now consumed on smartphones and tablets
- 143 million smartphones and 71 million tablets are used in the U.S. alone
- 81 percent of U.S. adults age 25-34 own a smartphone, as do 70 percent of teens and half of adults age 55 and over
- 97 percent of Millennials use a mobile platform to consume digital content
What does this mean for your business? It means that investing in a mobile site is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. When potential customers look for you online, chances are they’re using a smartphone or tablet. If your site is not designed to accommodate traffic from these devices, converting them becomes infinitely more difficult.
Here are some important mobile design principles to bear in mind when crafting or analyzing your new mobile experience.
Slim Down Your Hamburger Menu
Designed to hide site navigation on smaller screens, the hamburger menu is a staple of mobile web design. While hamburger menus effectively reduce clutter and make your mobile site more visually pleasing, they should not be overdone. Hiding important items in the hamburger menu can have a negative effect on content discoverability, making it painfully difficult for consumers to navigate. That’s why it’s important to make sure the most important menu items are displayed in plain sight.
Tappable Phone Number and Address
A flourish of simple coding will turn the phone number and address on your mobile site into tappable links. These links will trigger a dial dialog and directions to your store, respectively, allowing customers to find and get in touch with you more easily than ever. More than just a matter of convenience, active links are something customers now expect.
Use Carousels Wisely
Homepage carousels are popular for teasing products, offers and other important information. But since engagement rates are pretty low, carousels should be updated often so the most essential messaging always appears first. For example if you’re having a flash sale, bump that messaging into the default position so it’s more visible. Carousels should be purpose-driven; not treated as eye candy or real estate in which to hide content.
Reduce Social Media Clutter
Social sharing buttons can not only clutter your mobile site but also slow down loading time. While perhaps you’d be willing to look past these negatives if social buttons worked, this is rarely the case. According to a recent Moovweb study, only 0.2 percent of mobile users engage in any social sharing. In fact, mobile users are actually 11.5 times more likely to tap an advertisement than they are a Facebook, Twitter or other social share button.