Maps are a great addition to website that let your customer know exactly where you are, but there are more to maps than placing a red balloon over your location. It adds interactivity, allowing your website’s visitors to zoom in and out, get directions and driving routes.
It’s not difficult to embed a map. There are several of them out there, the most popular of which is Google Maps.
In fact, our friend Mario—the pizza-tossing extraordinaire and owner of Mario’s pizza—included a map in his website, but he didn’t consider functionality. The map held Mario’s pizza, a solitary point within a sea of streets. While this low functioning embedded map might be okay for those sitting at home working on their computers, it’s a pain for those looking up Mario’s pizza on a smart phone or tablet.
Mobile users want to know how to get to Mario’s and they want to know fast.
Imagine one of Mario’s customers fiddling with a map on the small screen of a smart phone just to get a good view of the surrounding streets.
Obviously, these are potential customers. (Mario’s regulars know exactly where his pizza parlor is.) The more Mario’s website map is adapted for the smaller screens of tablets and smart phones, the less chance he runs of losing customers to frustration and impatience.
This consideration is only going to get more important as tablet and smart phone use increases.
Smart phone and tablets are even expected to outpace personal computer use by 2015.
So, here are our quick tips for successful website design that will translate to small screens:
- Don’t include Flash. Smart phones and tablets can’t run Flash, and your users will see nothing but empty spaces where Flash programs once were.
- Create space between your links and clickable areas. A cluster of clickable areas can be a real frustration for someone accessing your website on a smart phone or tablet.
- Test your website on a tablet or smart phone to be certain that it maintains functionality.
- Place your contact information front and center. Don’t make a smart phone user have to explore several pages to find out what they need to know when they’re on the go—how to contact you.
With these tips in mind, Mario can be sure all those potential customers looking for a good slice land at his door.