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Optimising websites for mobile devices

Here at 56 Degrees we are very excited. We are delighted to announce that as well as fantastic web design and development, we can also ensure your site is compatible with mobile devices.


More and more of our clients understand that their websites need to work on all kinds of devices and if there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s meeting the needs of our clients.


Why mobile?

More and more people are using their mobile devices to browse the web but there are sill many sites which are not equipped to respond to these demands and as such run slower or, even worse, crash. This means that people who want to visit these sites get frustrated and go elsewhere.


But don’t just take our word for it: there is some compelling research that supports the fact that the growth of the mobile market shouldn’t be ignored.


The Morgan Stanley Research’s Mobile Internet Report highlights that mobile internet adoption is outpacing the growth of desktop internet adoption; Smartphone’s are expected to out-ship the global PC market in 2012 and heavy mobile data users will triple to one billion by 2013. And in terms of social networking there are more than 100million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices.


Is there really a difference?

Try looking at your website on your mobile phone and see if looks the same and works just as well as if you were looking at it on a desktop or laptop. A website that is designed only for desktops or laptops tends not to work in the same way on mobile devices, for example it might not fit correctly on the screen.  Because more people are using their mobiles to surf the web there is a real need for businesses to respond to this need and ensure their website works on all web compatible devices.


Making a website mobile friendly

The process of optimising your website for a mobile device isn’t actually as hard as it might appear, but knowing the steps in creating an effective mobile website can make all the difference between success and failure. 56 Degrees are well placed to help your business make your website mobile friendly. With a wealth of experience in website design and development we are extending our services to include making sure your site will work just as effectively on any mobile device.


56 Degrees will help you work out which of your clients use mobile devices to access your site, how to target them effectively, and design, develop, and launch a mobile friendly site that works seamlessly across all browsers. This can include updating and integrating your existing site content to make sure it is mobile friendly or develop a brand new site.


We believe that ignoring mobile devices as part of your online strategy is a mistake and may be damaging to your on-line and overall business growth. Eventually, designing and developing websites will start with how they work on mobile rather than considering this as a secondary “nice to have”. Designing for mobile first can open up new opportunities for growth and lead to a better overall user experience.


Some top tips

Getting the message right

Up to 80% of the content visible on a desktop or laptop screen doesn’t appear on a mobile device so you really need to focus on the most important message you want to get across to your visitors: you need to understand and know what matters most.


Single column layouts work best

Wide web pages are difficult to view on small mobile phone screens. Instead, create single column pages where the user can scroll down, rather than across, to make it a better user experience for your visitors.


Present the navigation differently

On the homepage you can place the navigation and site search in different places on the page depending on why your visitors are coming to your site: for information or to make a purchase.


Minimise text entry

Users make far more errors and are significantly slower when typing on even the best mobile keyboard than when using a full size PC keyboard. It therefore makes sense to minimize the amount that users have to type when accessing websites on their mobiles.


Design for touchscreen and non-touchscreen users

Smartphones typically have large touchscreens screens but may have a more traditional trackball, joystick or directional keys. Therefore, it’s important to that your design is easy for both touchscreen and non-touchscreen users. Links should be avoided for any important calls to action. Instead, design calls to action that take up more screen space and which can be tapped easily.


Take advantage of inbuilt functionality

Mobile phones have an advantage over PCs in that they come with lots of inbuilt functionality that most PCs don’t have. For example, allowing web visitors to automatically ring a number when they tap or click a phone number is very useful for ‘Contact us’ or ‘Store finder’ pages. Similarly, it’s possible to give the user the option to select an address and automatically open the mobile phone’s map application.


By considering mobile as part of your online strategy you will ensure your visitors can access your site regardless of device and location. Get in touch with 56 Degrees to find out more and how we can help.