Three Strategies to Effective Mobile Web Design
Business owners looking to delve into mobile commerce must consider the following three strategies to effective mobile web design. They must evaluate and choose how they can provide the best consumer experience as customers view and interact with their content through a variety of mobile devices. However, transitioning to mobile marketing does not universally fit or contain all business content.
There are three basic methods to incorporate mobile marketing and web design into your business model:
- Keep customers interacting with your desktop site using their mobile device
- Provide a site optimized for viewing through a mobile device
- Provide native mobile applications
Strategy 1: Present Your Existing Site To Mobile Users
This approach may be acceptable for sites featuring simple designs without large amount of photo data or rich media. Should your company choose this approach, there are ways to keep your content displaying as optimally as possible:
- Maintain as few server connections as possible
- Streamline images and text, keeping file sizes small
- Eliminate white space, while it helps on a desktop, mobile screens are small and your design should be clean but full of relevant content in more defined spaces
This approach is also the most cost-effective and allows for minimum amounts of development and code maintenance. However, there are risks associated with leaving your website as-is.
- Existing content may fail to fit or render properly on a mobile screens leaving your content inaccessible.
- Your company also forfeits the opportunity to interact with your visitors through the wide variety of specialized mobile capabilities like geolocation.
Strategy 2: Deliver A Mobile-Optimized Site
Most companies chose to develop an alternate site, optimized for mobile devices and designed for small screen viewing. You also want to ensure your content:
- has a front-end filter that reduces the volume of information presented to the visitor based on their device
- is filtered in such a way that business objectives are the main focus of the mobile site
- loads with speed without sacrificing content quality
While there are code changes and maintenance requirements, this alternative can be cost-effective for most developers and site owners, due to the realization of potential benefits in increased sales and revenue. The ability of customers to interact with the site content makes is increasingly likely that they will continue to visit and access the site from different devices.
Strategy 3: Develop Native Mobile Applications For Consumer Use
Mobile applications give entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with clients and customers at the point of sale by offering incentives, customer service interactions and leveraging the creativity and flexibility of mobile technology. However, applications are often developed at high costs, since there are so many versions required in accommodating the wide range of mobile computing platforms.
Mobile applications can boost sales, integrate offline and online marketing efforts, build customer community and widen a target market. They do have their challenges, however.
- Getting customers to download and use the mobile application can be difficult and is a marketing challenge in and of itself
- The ISP should be viewed as a partner in the process, if Internet access is slow or unreliable in a large market, the application may suffer poor performance, leading to negative reviews and affecting brand reputation
- Testing the entire process, from download to installation to use is important. Optimizing the performance is as significant as with your mobile or desktop web site.
As with all things computing and mobile, consumers are looking for an easy to access, easy to use and fast performing mobile experience. Providing an experience relevant to your customers and optimized for the variety of devices in use will keep your company and brand forward moving in the minds of your market. Consider these three strategies to effective mobile web design in your mobile setup.