How to Design Ergonomic Mobile Websites?
Now that we’re in the middle of the mobile era, most businesses are looking forward to create mobile websites to suit the needs of users of smart phones, tables and net books. In line with this, promoting businesses through mobile websites creates a difference in terms of usability, navigation and overall feel about the company. By providing a functional comfort design, you can draw more attention to your audience than traditional forms of advertising and company presence.
In this article, we will talk about the best practices in creating and designing ergonomic mobile websites.
1. Simplify navigation.
Mobile websites should have adopt the minimalist approach and embrace an ease of navigation and a heightened sense of usability especially on the menu. Note that a mobile website is NOT a miniature version of a traditional website. A website that can be accessed by Internet browsers through the mobile device is not tantamount to a “mobile website” but plainly the standard site itself.
In mobile devices, users expect that the number of clicks is lessened before landing to the page they wish to enter. Consider that click targets should be a minimum of 30-40px in size and use whitespace in between elements to ease clicking.
2. Reduce size of graphic elements.
To optimize the loading of pages in mobile websites, avoid background pictures and remove those graphics that are unnecessary or not much important. If really inevitable, try to reduce their sizes to the smallest possible but make sure they still have screen-compliant resolution. Reducing image sizes is an excellent strategy as it decreases 90% of the loading time.
3. Set a unidirectional scrolling.
In traditional websites, the direction of scrolling can be from left to right and top to bottom. But in mobile websites, this can be frustrating. One good tip is to factor in using one-column layout to narrow content width and reduce horizontal scrolling.
4. Maintain visual consistency.
Since you are to make your identification mark stronger, you need to follow the theme used in your standard website and apply the same to your mobile website as to reassure users that they are viewing a consistent and credible brand.
5. Develop automatic detection programs.
Typing on smaller devices causes much headache to most people particularly those belonging to the older generations. So you must take action to curb this issue and minimize the need of the users to type in your site. For instance, in forms, instead of text fields, opt to offer radio buttons and checklists instead. As well, lessen the number of screens a user is required to pass through to complete a form.
6. Use readable and familiar fonts.
All mobile devices come with different system fonts. If you’re unsure about using fancy fonts (because of their incompatibility of being displayed on the device or because of readability, your safest bets for the mobile web are: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Georgia, Trebuchet MS and Times New Roman. Still if you insist to use cool and prettier fonts, use them sparingly (e.g. headers, footers and not on body text). Also note the color contrast of the fonts against your background.
7. Mind text in headers and footers.
On the header, you should put the most important information as you won’t expect users to view the full page 100% of the time. Top of the page must consist of the site search, navigation and some headlines. On the footer, you might want to include the link to the standard website for their attention to be diverted there next and see more of your content.
Ergonomics is a combination of both aesthetics and efficiency. An awesome-looking site is not worth the page view if it takes ages to be displayed. On the other hand, a fast-loading page but a disorganized layout is also not worth your readers’ visit. The key to designing your mobile website is to have lighter pages, clearer content and visitor navigation to get quicker information.
With these put in mind, better design your company’s mobile website as early as now; better be the early bird to catch the worm. Sooner or later, all websites will have mobile website design.
Guest Author bio:
Alexis Thompson is a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.