It’s been two years since mobile traffic eclipsed desktop traffic, yet many websites are still being designed for desktop users. With mobile poised to experience continuing growth, and desktop positioned for an inevitable decline, website designers must shift focus if they hope to deliver expected results for companies.
Mobile Is No Longer an Afterthought
When it comes to mobile popularity, the tide isn’t rising, it’s already waist deep. In 2016, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop usage for the first time. Since then, the trend has only grown. In 2017, 57 percent of all Google search traffic came from mobile users.
During the 2017 holiday season, mobile visits to retailer websites were expected to surpass desktop visits for the first time. This prediction ultimately came true with companies such as Home Depot reporting that it saw mobile traffic outpace desktop traffic during its Black Friday sale, thanks in part to redesigned mobile sites and apps that offer customized shopping experiences.
Since mobile drives the majority of traffic worldwide, you won’t get very far if your website makes a visitor’s tablet go haywire. Unfortunately, many businesses continue to design and maintain sites that look terrible and function poorly on mobile devices.
With some, elements load in an order that makes no sense, with body text appearing before top and right-side navigation bars, and both appearing above headlines. With others, content loads enough for a visitor to start reading, only to teleport them back to the top once the page finally finishes loading. Still others interrupt content with massive advertisements that include tiny close-out options that work fine with a mouse pointer, but not at all with an index finger.
Even when they do optimize for mobile, far too many designers make minimum accommodations by slightly tweaking their pages. This sort of antiquated perspective has become a key issue that holds many businesses back, while giving others a substantial marketing edge. After all, if mobile devices are now the primary source of all web traffic, it doesn’t really make sense to regard them as an afterthought to a primary site designed for desktops and laptops.
Designing for Mobile
When designing a modern website, you must make sure it works flawlessly and beautifully on mobile devices. If you aren’t absolutely positive, you can test it via this resource from Google. If things look bad, you had better make changes. This means ditching code that will be buggy or slow on tablets and smartphones. It also means avoiding links and buttons that are too tiny to activate with a fingertip. Pictures should look colorful and crisp on modern super-high-definition tablet displays. You should also make sure your content isn’t too broad for a mobile screen, while checking to see if your text is too small or if clickable elements are showing up too close together.
For many compelling reasons, web designers and marketers need to work together to develop a unified experience that works seamlessly across every gadget. These days, a mobile site cannot be regarded as a simple offshoot of a desktop website, but a critical component of a complete marketing presence, characterized by clean, quick-loading content that looks great on every gadget.