Once upon a time visitors to your website were only coming from one place – their desktop computer. However, today they’re using a variety of different technology to view your site including mobiles, tablets and desktop computers – and it’s likely they’ll use a combination of these at different times depending on where they are and what they’re doing.
But why does it matter what bit of kit my audience is using to view my site?, I hear you ask.
Well, to put it simply, even the most beautifully designed website in the world will look positively stone-age on a smartphone or tablet if it hasn’t been optimised for them. Essentially this is because our mobile and tablet screens are so much smaller than our desktop computers; text becomes unreadable, images are cut off and pages are so long nobody has the patience to scroll through them. Even if your website has all the information the user is looking for, they’ll likely come straight off your site because it’s just too awkward and time consuming to use on their mobile device.
To highlight exactly what it is you need to consider when designing your website to make both your desktop and mobile audiences happy, we’ve compiled a list of the most common reasons why mobile visitors quickly leave unresponsive websites.
1. Too slow
Do you ever use your phone to look something up while you’re waiting for a coffee, sat on the bus or just have 5 minutes to kill? When time is short and you need to find something fast, the last thing you want to be on is a slow website and mobile visitors in particular hate slow websites. In order to keep them engaged, everything on your site needs to load properly, otherwise it will be quicker and easier for them to search for what they want elsewhere. Google PageSpeed Developers recommend that an entire web page should load in under two seconds. They even came up with this handy tool you can use to see how speedy your site is.
2. Fat Thumbs
We’re pretty sure your mobile audience don’t all have fat thumbs (it would be too much of a coincidence for one thing), but they’ll feel like they do when all of the content on your website is squished onto the screen of their mobile device. This becomes extremely frustrating when they’re trying to tap on one, tiny link, but the sides of their thumb keep picking up the links either side of it (or something else entirely!). In contrast, a responsive website will automatically render your design to suit the size of screen being used, adjusting your content so that it is easily readable and accessible to your mobile audience.
3. Working Hard
If your website isn’t mobile responsive, the people who view it from a phone or tablet will have to work extra hard to get to the content they want. Even if they managed to stay with you through the painfully slow loading time and the invisible-to-the-naked-eye-links, you’ll really test their patience when they have to start excessively zooming in or swiping their screens repeatedly to scroll. A mobile responsive site puts a stop to all of this and will automatically respond to the movements made by a user. For instance, the page layout will instantly adjust if a user turns their phone from portrait to landscape.
Ultimately, responsive website design creates a better experience for all of your customers by optimising your web content to the format best suited to their needs. According to Google’s Think Insights on Mobile, when a user has a positive experience with your mobile website, they’re 67% more likely to make a purchase or use a service. With that statistic in mind, can you afford to not make your website responsive?