Mobile web design usage continues to climb each year.  According to statista, mobile phone internet usage topped 52 percent in 2015.  They also estimate that by 2017, more than 63 percent of internet usage will be via mobile devices.  Google also advises businesses to have a mobile-friendly website.  If fact, they award mobile friendly websites by giving them higher rankings in their search engine algorithm.  If you are not designing your web sites to take full advantage of this group of internet users, then you risk losing out on a significant amount of potential business.  Follow these steps to ensure that your website is ready for mobile visitors.

Websites must scale properly

First, ensure your website scales appropriately to fit a variety of screen sizes.  In Canada, the most popular smartphones include the iPhone 6S, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy Note5, and Nexus 5X.  Develop your website so that it displays well on these devices.  An excellent method of testing for these devices is to install device emulation software.  Another way is to use a plugin for your web browser.  Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all have plugins or extensions that will show what your website will look like on different screen sizes.

Design for mobile first

Second, use a mobile first website design approach.  Ensure that all the essentials work on mobile devices and then expand the web page sizes as required to fit larger devices such as tablets and laptops.  Design web pages that are simpler.  Not only will these pages look good but they will load faster.  Speed is key, especially for mobile users.  Also ensure that your navigation system is simple to use.  Put some extra thought into how visitors will move around your website.

Use grids

Third, select a page design that looks good on a mobile device and use typography that is easy to read.  Grid based layouts are becoming popular with mobile designers (Pinterest).  Another layout places the main content in the center with other elements flowing below (on mobile devices) or to the right (on larger devices).  Increasingly, designers incorporate parallax (images scrolling horizontally) to put the important information all on a single page.  Mobile users tend to accept horizontal scrolling but will quickly leave a website which requires vertical scrolling.

Follow a mobile first web design approach and your website will be easier to use for mobile visitors.  Not only will your site be easier to use, but it will become more accessible and usable (two great attributes for any web site).  Never pass up on an opportunity to attract more web site visitors.

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