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Design for Mobile: What You Need to Know
Design for Mobile: What You Need to Know

According to GoMo, a mobile site initiative by Google, more Americans will access the web via mobile than desktop by 2015. Building a mobile-friendly site is essential for businesses to prepare for the mobile movement.

Mobile-friendly websites benefit your customer, and in turn your business. These sites produce an average 75% higher rate of engagement(revenue, page views, etc.) per visit for mobile users.


Mobile site best practices
When developing a responsive site or a custom mobile site, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Focus on the Who, What, Where. Display your company’s most important information at the top in plain text. This includes your name, address, contact information and perhaps a brief description of what you do.

Help users take action. Think about the top five things you want your customer to be able to do (call you, look up directions to your office, follow you on Twitter) and make them insanely easy to do.

Don’t bog it down. Don’t include Flash-based videos on your mobile site. Many devices don’t support Flash and video eats up data and can take a long time to load.

Make it easy to read and navigate. Remember, users will view this site on an itty bitty screen with itty bitty keys. Don’t complicate navigation across several pages, and don’t make users download PDFs. The more straightforward, the better.


Mobile sites I like
With those features in mind, here are a few of my favorite, well-designed mobile sites (and why):

Showtime

What’s working well? The homepage. This site includes a great hierarchy of information the top: series movie sports comedy, the middle: tonight’s schedule, and the bottom: order Showtime/contact us. I’m also digging the simplified color palette of black, gray, white, and red. And third, they’re utilizing really powerful photography with strong compositions, great colors that work with the overall color palette. The eight rotating featured images keep the site feeling active.

 

Story Hotels

What’s working well? Communicating the experience at Story Hotel. The aesthetic of the mobile site is consistent with the hotel’s brand with a unique,  energetic color palette, lively photographs, and textures that engage the user’s sense of touch, virtually. There’s a clear path for the user: priority of information is easily understood: About > Tour > Book! The grouped buttons help the user quickly understand and access their options and the call to action (book now) is at the top of every page.

 

Fast Company

What’s working well? The unique approach to listing content. Fast Company clearly knows its audience: creatives, designers, leaders, and entrepreneurs. FC is mindful of the context a users is in when accessing the site– they’re probably commuting to work, killing some time before a meeting, taking a coffee break, or something of the like. Lastly, a simple navigation icon allows the user to easily jump between the four Fast Company sub-brands.


We recently put these tips into practice when designing a custom mobile site for our client Johnson Jensen, a personal injury law firm. The site allows users to call each attorney directly, follow them on Twitter, and get directions to the JJ office. See how it looks and view the entire rebrand (along with others we’ve done), in our new work section.

What’s your favorite site to visit from your smartphone or mobile device?