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Part 2: 7 Simple Suggestions for Mobile Optimization

Avoid Being Abandoned

Last week we discussed embracing the mobile-friendly movement. Take a moment and look around, if you’re not reading this on a mobile device, you probably have one (or two) sitting within reach. Remember the last time you accessed a site on a mobile device, and you couldn’t read the text, or click the correct link? You kept navigating back and forth, making multiple attempts just to complete one action. Frustration ensued and you likely ended up abandoning the site altogether.

Don’t be the site that’s abandoned because it’s not mobile-friendly. The tips below provide high-level best practices to help you with mobile optimization

Watch Load Times. Abide by the five-second rule. If it takes longer than five seconds for your page to load, you’re losing users. Consolidate your JavaScript functions into one file. In reality, most users will only give you three seconds of their time, use it wisely.

Stay “Above the Fold.” Mobile users are….well, mobile. If you’re a business give them your address, hours, and contact information right up front. If you’re an online retailer, make it easy to quickly and seamlessly make purchases. Place your purpose at the top.

Be Legible. Don’t make users tap and zoom to read your content. Avoid fixed size fonts and typography that distorts when scaled. The recommended default size is 16px and no smaller than 12px. For line-height the sweet spot is 1.2em.
Check out the 100% Easy-2 Read Standard for more tips.

Be All Thumbs. Tap targets (links, buttons, etc.) need their own space. Thumbs on a touchscreen aren’t precise so the minimum target for your buttons should be 10mm to avoid giving users a “fat-finger” complex.

Keep Scrolling Simple. Avoid the “pinch and zoom” method of scrolling. It creates a lot of unnecessary hassle and is a great way to lose users. Create pages that fit within mobile boundaries.

Watch Your Language. Keep your text short and sweet (look for an in-depth discussion of this in Part 3). Your mobile site is not the platform for exhibiting your Faulknerian prose. 50-75 characters per line is optimal.

Stop using Flash. No really, stop.

Mobile optimization helps ensure your site doesn’t fall victim to one of the 50 percent of users that won’t return to a website if it doesn’t properly load on their mobile devices. Mobile optimization may seem daunting, particularly if you’re a small business. Remember our advice in Part 1: “Focus on optimizing key pages for your business (i.e., home page, contact us), and tackle the remaining pages in order of priority”.

Have you embraced mobile optimization? Give us your tips in a comment below!

About the Author:

As the Director of Marketing, Debbie Peterson uses the power of brand-building to not only drive business for MetroStar Systems, but to tell great stories about a company that powers change.