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Five Tips to Help Your Mobile Website Meet User Expectations

There's no doubt about it—users are now just as likely to use their mobile devices instead of their desktop or laptop to surf the web, make purchases and more. What's more, they expect their mobile user experience to be at least as fast and perform as well as a non-mobile user experience. If a mobile website is slow or performs poorly mobile users are likely to move on – often to a competitor’s mobile website. Here are five tips to help your mobile website meet user expectations.

Mobile is Everywhere

mobile website performanceLook around you. See just about everyone engaging with mobile devices? Then these stats from Cisco’s Visual Network Index (VNI) won’t shock you: Global mobile data traffic grew 81 percent in 2013, and reached 1.5 exabytes per month at the end of the year. Over half a billion mobile devices and connections were added in 2013. Smartphones accounted for 77 percent of that growth, with 406 million net additions in 2013.

There’s no doubt about it—users are now just as likely to use their mobile devices instead of their desktop or laptop to surf the web, make purchases and more. What’s more, they expect their mobile user experience to be at least as fast and perform as well as a non-mobile user experience. If a mobile website is slow or performs poorly mobile users are likely to move on – often to a competitor’s mobile website.

Optimizing Mobile Website Performance is Critical

Unfortunately, mobile networks are tricky when it comes to performance, with “number of bars,” dropped connections and latency the most notable culprits. However, there are some tips you can employ to ease the user experience when visiting your mobile website.

  1. Design specifically for mobile: Keeping a two-inch screen in mind when designing your mobile site really helps you focus. Try different things, but always keep in mind how the user will be interacting with the site on their device.
  2. Benchmark against competitors: How does your website look and perform in relation to your competitors? Are your page load speeds in the same range? Does their site look better and perform the same?
  3. Give the full-site option: Let’s face it, you might not be able to add every feature to your mobile site that’s on your full site. Giving users easy access to the full site lets them control which version they want to use and maximizes the user experience.
  4. Know your devices: Your customers use many different devices and access a range of carrier networks across geographies. Make sure your mobile launch testing includes various popular mobile devices, as the processing power in some may allow faster performance than others.
  5. Continuous testing: In the dynamic environment of mobile user experience, testing cannot stop after the initial development testing and launch to production.  Monitoring of mobile performance provides data that can be used to continually optimize the user’s mobile experience.
  6. Get started: Start by getting a baseline of how your website loads via a mobile browser. Use this free mobile website speed test to analyze the webpage elements that may be causing your website to have issues on mobile devices.

 

{ photo credit: @jbtaylorcc }

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