We’ve noticed that one of the top things on every company’s to-do list is to create a mobile site. With everyone needing information on the go, it makes sense for companies to create a site that allows visitors to quickly access a phone number, address, service list, etc. without having to search through multiple pages—but how does one create a successful, user-friendly mobile site? Following the launch of the Maritime Aquarium’s new mobile site, here are a few behind-the-scenes tips on what makes a really good mobile site:
- Site should be user driven – What information do regular visitors need up front? A clear, user-friendly list of options, such as Events, Contact, Buy, etc. should be the first thing they see so they can select which option they want without having to scroll around.
- Understand browser layouts – Each smartphone has it’s own screen dimension and resolution requirements for optimum site readability. Make sure your site is compatible with most of these standards so users can clearly see/read your site’s information.
- Make two mobile sites – This might seem unnecessary, but not everyone has a smartphone. To compensate for those visitors who are using older cell phones, create a basic mobile interface, which only shows core features, while the other layout will feature a rich UI (user-interface) for those with smartphones.
- Make it scroll vertically – When redesigning the content layout, allow info to flow downward, using blocks of information to highlight different sections.
- Apply good design practices – Remember, a mobile site is meant to condense the information from the regular full site, but that doesn’t mean you need to cram everything in word for word to fit a smartphone screen. Instead, pare it down to the essentials. Use simple words for links and buttons (e.g. use “Buy” not “Purchase”), implement one idea for one page, and don’t use pop-ups, mouse-over, or refresh features.