By: Jay Wiley- Bayshore Solutions Management Team
iPhones, Androids & Blackberrys Oh My!
By 2014, it is projected that more users will access the internet from their phone than from a computer. Does this mean that all of those fancy flash-based, heavy content sites will become obsolete? Will you drop an egg from a mad duck on the submit button to send a form? Probably not, but it does mean that if you do not have a mobile presence you’ll be missing out on over half of all web browsers. Creating a mobile version of your site doesn’t have to be painful or expensive. In fact it’s typically a smaller version of your existing website with a more simplistic design. The important thing is to identify the key actions you want your customers to take when accessing your mobile site. There are a number of basic guidelines you need to keep in mind when developing and designing mobile websites:
- Screens are smaller, which means the fonts are smaller, which means it’s highly unlikely you’re going to read War and Peace on your cell phone. Eliminate some of the content.
- People are not going to fill out long forms using their phone, with coffee in one hand, while driving down the highway. It’s hard enough to dial a number while weaving through traffic. If you have a form, keep it simple: name & email.
- Filesize – 3G, 4G, 12G, where will it end? Right now, however, I don’t care how many G’s your phone pulls it’s not going to quickly download a 5MB PDF of your company’s terms and conditions. Face it, phones will never be as fast as desktops or they would make desktops the size of phones. So try to limit the size of files and images on your mobile site.
- iPhones, Androids, Blackberrys oh my! With so many different phones and operating systems you need to keep your site platform agnostic. For example, flash won’t work on your iPhone. This means all those pretty moving images and text can’t be seen from your phone.
- Click to talk phone numbers – all numbers should use this simple code that will initiate a call when your customer clicks (or touches) on the phone number on your mobile site.
- Find a location – Most smart phones are equipped with GPS technology. You search for your favorite restaurant, gym, store, gas station, etc. and it displays the store closest to your actual physical location. Make sure your location is “findable” to mobile searchers.
In short, when creating your mobile presence, simpler is better. Reduce the content and file size, limit the amount of typing your customer is required to perform, take advantage of smart phone capabilities by adding click to talk numbers and location finders. Follow these steps and you will be primed for mobile Web success.