Optimising content for mobile devices
How to make sure your mobile website is accessible and easy to use
Many business' websites that can be accessed on a computer will be inefficient on a mobile device, either due to the smaller screen size or its appearance. If you decide to create a mobile site, you need to ensure that your content is optimised for mobile browsers.
One possible way to do this is to develop a responsive website template. This will take the original content of your site, and serve it to the mobile user in an easy to read and navigate format. You can also give the user the option of switching to the original version of the website, with may have more features, but will require more 'pinching and zooming' of content.
How to optimise content for mobile devices
As many customers using mobile browsing services will be 'on the move', it needs to be as easy to use as possible. You should consider the following factors when optimising your content:
- offer appropriate information first, then further reading
- use concise and direct language
- front load content, ie place distinctive information at the beginning of each section
- get users' consent before initiating downloads of content
Read more about mobile web design best practice.
As mobile devices have a different screen layout and operating speeds to standard desktop computers, you should:
- design responsive pages
- simplify the design of the site to take screen sizes into account
- add alt-tags for pictures - users regularly block downloading images to reduce bandwidth consumption
- avoid scripting languages, Flash or other complex objects that mobile devices may struggle to operate correctly
- avoid fixed sized items - eg tables - as they may not fit certain mobile devices
You must also design your site with search engine optimisation (SEO) in mind. SEO strategies must be put in place including link building, keyword research and optimised webpages and sitemaps.