In May we published an article covering three of the most critical things your website should do well. The original post included several critical suggestions that could help improve your website but was, by no means, a definitive list. In this article we will expand on the first by adding three more items to the list.
4. Make Sure Your Mobile Experience Rocks
The days of cobbled together mobile sites are over. Mobile first design is a trend that has taken over. You never get the chance to recreate a first impression and the reality is that for the majority of users that first impression is being made on a mobile screen. Responsive layouts are great but just “shrinking” a page down fit nicely on a phone doesn’t mean it leads to an optimal experience for the user
Here are a few tips to improve your mobile experience:
Horizontal oriented images don't work as well on mobile. Horizontal loses its impact when on a small, vertical, screen. Be prepared to re-crop or use different images that better fit into the mobile viewing experience.
Gestures have become ubiquitous. Don’t make mobile users tap a tiny arrow to move through your gallery, instead, let them swipe. Don’t disable pinch to zoom but do make sure that the user shouldn’t feel a need to zoom. Don’t break scrolling because your desktop site has some fancy parallax system. Focus on an elegant layout that feels like the user is interacting with a user friendly app.
Typography needs to be optimized for a small screen. Readability needs to be clean and comfortable. Make sure you are optimizing font sizes so that paragraphs are 45-75 characters long on any mobile device. Make sure headers stand out nicely but don’t dominate the entire screen. Most of all, tailor the content of the text itself to be short and pithy. Mobile users aren’t looking to read big paragraph so put your creative “Twitter” hat on.
5. Leverage “Why” Marketing
The great marketers of our time all know that sales are made on “why” rather than “what.” What you do is obvious by the existence of your portfolio but why you do it is going to build the connection which converts window shoppers to customers.
Check out this great TED talk which covers the basics of “why” based marketing extremely well. After, ask yourself how you can use what you’ve learned build upon your digital identity.
A few years ago Fstoppers published a fantastic article featuring a myriad of amazing marketing videos that excelled at showcasing “why” marketing, which are awesome for inspiration.
6. Speed Is King
Most usability studies show that you start losing out on traffic after half a second. Your site has less than a single second to get content in front of users before it risks losing some traffic to slowness. This is especially true on mobile. Take whatever steps you can to maximize the speed of your website without compromising the image quality.
If you are looking for ways to improve the speed of your site or want something to give to your web developer to show them how they can improve your site's speed Woorank is an excellent service that scans a website then provides a list of recommendations on how to improve. This includes page speed recommendations.
At the end of the day your website is the only place online that is truly a reflection of you. By making sure that users have a smooth but exciting experience, not only do you create a great first impression, but also build an aura of quality that will extend to that viewer's opinion of your work.