Your website design Toronto, is your 24/7 store front
Most people use the Internet to find prices, directions, reviews and more before heading out the door and while on the go. Website’s have become the 24/7 store front for businesses and they need to provide customers with the right information quickly to help them make informed decisions. Increasingly people are browsing websites from their mobile phone and that means your website design has to be mobile friendly. If you’re website is a few years old, it might look okay on smart phones, but that doesn’t means it’s been designed mobile first
What is mobile first website design?
To understand mobile first website design in Toronto, you’ll need to talk to a developer first. Looking at a website on it’s surface doesn’t tell the whole storey – even if it looks perfect on a mobile phone. We spoke with a handful of website developers who gave us insights into what is mobile first and why it matters.
The one thing all developers agreed on is speed. Mobile first website design puts the mobile experience first, loading only the content that’s necessary on phones. That typically means faster load times. On desktop computers, more content and features can be loaded taking advantage of the assumption most desktop’s have access to high speed internet. An interesting aspect of mobile first website design actually has little to do with the website itself, but more with how it’s delivered to you. To further increase speed content can be served through a Content Distribution Network (CDN) which places the content closer to the user reducing the amount of time it has to physically travel across the Internet to your mobile device.
If you increase speed by loading less content, naturally your phone will use less data while accessing websites on a data network such as 3G or LTE. This is very important because data plans can be expensive you while you might not think about it much when loading a website, the less data a website uses, the more often you can visit it before reaching your data cap. From a business perspective, the last thing you want is for your user to stop visiting your website because you’ve drained their data plan by not optimizing your website. Web developers use tricks such as compressing files – making them smaller so they use less data, caching content; telling your phone to re-use the images it downloaded the first time instead of getting them again from the web server and using next generation image formats which are smaller in size without sacrificing image quality. The result is you use less data while still getting a great mobile experience.
A direct result of loading less content on mobile first websites is that you use less battery. This for many people is a big benefit. While as a business owner you don’t care directly about how long your customers’ battery lasts, it’s easy to understand the benefits of not having your website drain their battery. Just as with data, you don’t want to be responsible or contributing to the demise of your own website being because you drained their battery. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!
Browsing a website on a smartphone is different from browsing on a desktop. It’s important that users are able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily on a small screen. That means making sure text is large on mobile with proper spacing and that images a clear. A common problem if your website is not optimized for mobile is the text being wider than the width of the screen, which forces users to scroll left and right. Not only does it make the website look bad, it makes finding content difficult.
Another common problem are large images which look great on desktop screen, but then become too small and difficult to see on mobile screens. Picking images that work well for large screens and small screens is one strategy and in some cases using clever coding techniques it’s possible to display different images for desktop and mobile, ensure users get the best experience.
Lastly, mobile websites often have too much content. As the saying does, sometime less is more and for mobile websites less is definitely more. It’s important to display only the relevant content instead of forcing users to scroll through a lot of filler to find what they’re looking for. A skilled website design company will be able to using coding techniques to selectively show/hide content depending on the users screen size ensuring the best user experience.
For many businesses in Toronto, most of their traffic comes form smartphones. So check your website analytics and if your website is a few years old get it audited to see if it’s been designed mobile first. Toronto website design companies such as Brand & Mortar provide FREE website audits which help identify strength, weaknesses and provide recommendation on how to improve – including mobile first website design.
Your website is your 24/7 store front – and it might need to be redesigned.