10 Steps for More Mobile-Friendly Web Content
April 17, 2015
Having to talk to a friend who keeps checking his or her phone is one of the hallmarks of the mobile generation. It’s a funny and sometimes frustrating phenomenon, but it does present a valuable lesson from a marketing perspective. Mobile users are only half-paying attention to you, which means they’re also only half-paying attention to what’s on their devices. It’s no wonder that a study in the International Journal of Mobile Human Computer Interaction (yes, this is a real topic of study) found that the comprehension of mobile users was only half that of desktop users. Users tested with a desktop screen had an average comprehension score of 39%, while those tested with a mobile screen had an average comprehension score of less than 19%. Why does this comprehension gap occur? Well, to start, mobile users are frequently dealing with the following challenges:
- Reading on a smaller screen
- Being on-the-go or multitasking while browsing
- Dealing with slow connections
- Keep it short – Due to obvious screen size limitations, content rendered on a mobile screen should be more concise than that created for desktops.
- Simplify your message – Your content should not only be shorter, but also more straightforward. Try to distill your message to its most clear and effective form.
- Use effective headlines – Headlines are the first thing mobile users see, and a good headline will make them scroll down to find out more.
- Use collapsible sections – If the content can be neatly divided into sections, consider using collapsible sections to hide certain sections when the user doesn’t need them. This will make scrolling through lots of information easier.
- Order from most to least important – Because scrolling takes work, the information at the top of each page will be read more often than that at the bottom (the same reason the first search result gets the most hits). Start each page with the information you absolutely want readers to know, and include more details further down, for those willing to scroll.
- Opt for scrolling instead of pages – However, scrolling is more user-friendly than clicking through to new pages.
- Use adequate font size – Make sure that your font is large enough to be easily readable on a mobile screen.
- Use suitable buttons and links – Mobile buttons and links should be big enough to be clicked with a fingertip, and far enough apart to prevent users from clicking on the wrong one.
- Be clear about your location – Mobile users are often on-the-go, which makes them more likely to care about your location. Indicating your location on most mobile pages is important, both for SEO purposes, but also so users can find directions to your location quickly.
- Minimize page load times – This has more to do with web design than content, but if your content doesn’t load quickly enough, mobile users are likely to move to the next source.
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