8 Hints for Cross Platform Website Design
Most websites are set up for PC or laptop access. The number of smartphone users is exploding with approximately 182 million current users. The number of mobile devices is forecasted to expand to 220 million by the year 2018. Advances in mobile device technology have led to increased internet surfing, shopping, browsing social media sites and checking e-mails via smartphones. These eight web site design hints will enhance cross-platform access for business websites.
- Consistency: A company’s website should be consistent across multiple platforms. Potential customers may begin viewing the site via a laptop but later transfer to a smartphone. A different design may confuse the audience. Select a responsive technology framework, such as Foundation, HTML Kickstart or Zebra.
- Decrease Words: A website may appear cluttered with too many words. An icon may often be substituted for words. Symbols are mobile user-friendly and easily understood.
- Limit Scrolling: Limit the amount of information on each page. Mobile users can scan different pages by scrolling in the same direction. Lengthy texts result in users scrolling vertically and laterally.
- Optimize: Website designs should optimize the display for mobile users. A mobile screen is obviously a fraction of the size of a laptop screen. The difference in screen size should be compensated.
- Quick Load: Potential customers may be lost due to frustration from waiting for a site to load. An overabundance of copy, graphics and videos can reduce load time. Switching to images that are smaller in byte size will decrease load time.
- Selection Ease: Avoid user frustration and accidental taps with effortless selection. The site should be navigable with one index finger or thumb. Allow 45- 57 pixels of space for each touch target. Provide adequate space between touch targets.
- Tailor: The website design should be tailored for interacting with a touchscreen. Business owners may increase internet traffic to a website through responsive web design. Consider mobile device users accessing pop-up menus, photo galleries and other elements when designing the website.
- Vital Information: Contact information and store hours should be placed in a prominent location for mobile users. Mobile users are often checking to see what time a business closes or for directions. Placing vital information in a conspicuous location assures potential customers will find needed information.
(Photo is courtesy of Words as uploaded by Chris at Flickr’s Creative Commons.)