The Characteristics of a Mobile-Friendly Website

We’re already halfway through November, and the Christmas shopping season is in full swing. Stores are decorated, Black Friday ads are out, and the deals are better (and have appeared earlier) than ever.
With all of this Christmas shopping clutter, more and more people are researching the deals and doing their shopping online. Last year, 24 percent of shoppers used their phones to shop for Christmas in 2012, and this trend is on the rise.
This new way of shopping poses a problem for many companies because there are still many sites that are not mobile-friendly. If companies don’t recognize mobile shopping as an important trend, they risk losing customers and missing out on business.
A mobile-friendly site is one that is accessible and easy to navigate on the smaller screen of a smart phone or tablet. Revamping a site is definitely an investment, but many businesses, Bravo included, have seen great results.
Bravo MobileWhile Bravo is not in the shopping or retail industries, we recognized this growing trend and the convenience that comes with our mobile world. Recently, Bravo worked with andCulture, a web developer in Harrisburg, to create a new mobile-friendly website. The new and improved website, which launched this past September, has received many compliments and recently helped ancCulture walk away with a platinum MarCom Award in the Mobile Website category for their work on our site. This is the highest award given for the category in the worldwide competition.
Bravo’s website was compared to big players like Coke, ESPN and Toyota, which is pretty impressive for a smaller firm.
Here are some characteristics of outstanding mobile sites like Bravo’s.
1. Well formatted content that is easy to scan
Most Internet users skim through web content instead of reading every word from top to bottom looking for information that is relevant to their needs. It’s important to format your content with this in mind. Headings, sub-headings, bullets and lists are all great strategies for breaking up text so it’s easier to scan.
2. Fast load times
Nothing is more annoying for website visitors than a page that takes long to load. In fact, a typical user will only wait 4 to 6 seconds for your page to load, after which they will most likely navigate to a competitor’s site and never visit again. Making sure that your website loads quickly is essential for maintaining customers.
3. Effective navigation
Effective navigation is essential for website usability. Information should be categorized by tabs or menus and clearly identified. This way, users can easily locate the specific information they’re looking for. Other factors of good navigation include an effective search feature, strong internal links and an informative header and footer on each page.
4. Contrasting color scheme
The right contrast between the background of the website and its content is one of the most basic, yet one of the most important web design principles. Good contrast makes your content legible and easy to read. Contrast is also an effective method for drawing attention to important words and phrases, making it easier for users to quickly scan the page.
For more information on how and why to make your webpage mobile-friendly, check out these links!
http://socialmediatoday.com/ksingh/1537926/web-design-11-characteristics-user-friendly-website
http://www.google.com/think/research-studies/what-users-want-most-from-mobile-sites-today.html
https://digitalfireflymarketing.com/why-mobile-websites-are-important
http://www.haleymarketing.com/2013/05/03/is-your-site-mobile-friendly/

Photo Credit: http://www.andculture.com/lab/in-the-words-of-charlie-sheen-were-winning#! 

Kayla Krebs, Harrisburg Intern
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