The design of websites has changed a great deal over the past few years. The combination of increased mobile users with HTML5 and CSS3 friendly browsers calls for an ever evolving understanding of what “good” design looks like. Among other design trends in 2013, your site must be designed for mobile first. Does your overall design, text structure, headings, and logical flow work in a mobile platform and follow new trends in technology? If not, you need to go back to the drawing board.
Not convinced you need to design for mobile first?
Here are some of the facts(more here):
- 1.2 billion mobile users worldwide
- 25% of mobile users in the U.S. are mobile only users
- 10.9 billion downloads of mobile apps
- 85% of new handsets can access the web
With your design, you’re either embracing graceful degradation or progressive enhancement. Graceful degradation is starting with the desktop experience first and then degrading your design down to a mobile experience. Progressive enhancement moves in the exact opposite direction, from a mobile experience all the way up to the desktop experience.
First and foremost, the mobile experience of your site needs to be easy to navigate. People can and will scroll and swipe away in a mobile experience. Content takes precedence over navigation.
“Whether people are checking on frequently updated data like stocks, news, or scores; looking up local information; or finding their way to articles through search or communication tools—they want immediate answers to their needs and not your site map.”
–Organizing Mobile, Luke Wroblewski
The demand for accessibility and ease of use is yet another expression of the humanization of the internet. As the internet continues to go mobile, literally resting the palms of everyone’s hands who interacts with it, the human element will be more important than ever. In the first quarter of 2013 PC sales fell 14 percent from the same time last year and tablets are expected to exceed 100 million in 2013.
How and where people interact with your site is continually evolving. But the fundamental relationship between you and your audience stays the same. They desire sites that are easy to interact with on a mobile device, tablet, or desktop computer. You desire users who can easily take the next step in your sales process. Whether you want them to buy, subscribe to your newsletter, or simply enjoy serving fresh entertaining content on your site the overall design, text structure, headings, and logical flow must work in a mobile environment first. And there is a very simple test to see how well your site is organized for the increasing number of mobile users out there. Pull that smart phone out of your pocket, go to your site, and see for yourself.