Website Optimization for Tablet & Mobile Browsing
So you just designed your website, and its perfect. That is until you see the dreaded "mobile" option and realize you have to start from the beginning to make your business' website optimal for tablets and phones. Or lets say you're new to web development, you know how to code your own website, but the design aspect has never really come easy to you - especially for mobile browsing.
If you identify as one of the above, then this article is for you. Below, are the necessary things to keep in mind if your business has a website that is available from a smart device (Psssst... that's every website!!).
So without further ado, let's jump right in!
Tablet Users Use Fingers - Not A Mouse
This one might seem pretty obvious at first, but you might be surprised to see how many websites are not optimal for "big cursers", A.KA. - fat thumbs. Often times, you navigate to a website via a hyperlink, only to realize that the buttons are so small that you can barely click on the options in front of you. If you are looking to make your website friendly for smartphone and tablet users, consider the following:
Keep all components big enough to tap with the tips of your fingers
Don't use any type of "roll over" or "hover" effects, as fingers don't typically work in the same motion a mouse does. Fingers leave the screen while the mouse curser is embedded into the screen.
Don't include many areas that can lead to another page (clickable areas) next to another. It might make it tricky for the user to click on exactly the spot they want to go and end up on an entirely different section of the page.
Obviously you want your website to look aesthetically pleasing and easy for a customer to navigate. Follow these tips to maximize those efforts.
Left justify all text that is on your page. "Extreme right" is actually difficult to achieve from a tablet or smart phone because things naturally fall to the left side of the page. Aligning everything to the left assures that the user doesn't have to scroll over too far to the right to see what you're trying to say.
Resize everything to fit comfortably on the screen - elements, pictures, and text. There is a perfect medium between too small and too big. Finding the balance helps guarantee that your customers won't be reading tiny and long lines of text, or excessively scrolling through jumbo letters.
Optimizing Load Time
One thing that some websites don't account for, is the fact that most of the users will be navigating to the site, even when they aren't home. Especially when you advertise your business on social media. It is not guaranteed that your customers are accessing it from a secure WiFi location. Follow this simple mantra - less = more. Less content to load means more people will stay on your website for longer.
minimize the number of elements you include in the mobile version of your website - the more elements you have, the harder it will be to load, especially if they are accessing the page wirelessly and without WiFi.
When In Doubt - Try It Out
After it's all said and done, the greatest bit of advice we could give you is to try it out for yourself. Open your smartphone, navigate to your website, and scroll through all of the pages to be sure that its a comfortable experience. If its hard for you to navigate, it will definitely be hard for your customers.
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Sharma, Prashant. “Optimizing Your Website For Tablets.” Platform to Showcase Innovative Startups and Tech News, 15 Nov. 2013, https://www.techpluto.com/optimizing-your-website-for-tablets/.