(Spoiler Alert: You Don’t)

The last few years have seen a vast improvement in the universal awareness of the importance of mobile device user-friendliness, the art and science of making websites more responsive to visitors on smart phones. It is understood by almost everyone nowadays that it is actually MORE important that your website be navigable via smart phone than on the “big” screens of an iPad or a laptop (not to mention the comparative IMAX-like experience of the desktop on which this article is being written).

Website responsiveness to smart phones and mobile gadgetry is crucial not only because of the search engine penalties Google can impose on your site but, more importantly, because the percentage of mobile device website traffic is up to 54.8% in the first quarter of 2021. This is the highest percentage in history, an increase from the 31.16% mobile device traffic number back in 2015. More people than ever are looking at websites remotely. It’s just what we do now.

So, you almost have to intentionally make a really rotten website with poor mobile navigability to fail your website visitors and customers these days. True to its intention, the website referenced in the title of this piece, theworldsworstwebsiteever.com, is actually even worse to navigate on a smart phone than it is on a computer. Good for them! They got it wrong on all fronts!! This is perfect since that was their goal. While there are plenty of examples of intentionally bad websites with lousy “usability”, there are still many unintentionally bad websites out there, as well as some nice-looking sites that are downright hostile to mobile devices.

Despite this increased awareness of the value of making web access mobile friendly, almost 90% of mobile purchasers report that they still have what they consider to be “negative” shopping experiences online. The complaints of these people range from not being able to easily read text to doubts about whether their payment information is protected to confusion when they get to the checkout cart. Further, once these consumers have a bad experience, over thirty-three percent will desert the current purchase they were making AND they say that they won’t come back to that website, ever again. When it comes to website mobile usability, Eminem was right. You got one shot, one opportunity.

Gif of Enimen's one shot one opportunity lyric

With this in mind, let’s look at a key point checklist of some of the assets your website (and your web expert) must incorporate in order to give visitors to your website using mobile devices a supreme usability experience. It is always important for business owners to make sure they know what should be included in the construction of their websites, even if they are not building these sites themselves.

Usability Key Point Check List

  1. Visual Focus. A picture is worth a thousand words. Images are everything in the website world, especially when websites are being navigated on a smart phone or other mobile device. If your website is wordy, you have to make sure it is adapted for mobile usability. Make sure that the images on the mobile version of your site are sharp and that any text is minimal, powerful and efficient.
  2. Easy Navigation. Keep It Simple…the old “KISS” method applies here. It is always imperative to remember that websites fall into the visual medium category. Not only should images lead the way, but website navigation must also be simple and lend itself to what a mobile user really wants, which is…
  3. …Instant Gratification. Think about the evolution of web browsing in the 21st century. Back in 2001, we used to sit at our home desktop (or laptop if you were really techno savvy) to do research so that we could find what we wanted to buy at a store. Now, when we’re heading out to eat, we rely on our devices to make the reservations, provide us directions and even to see if the chef has run out of kimchi for that special dish you love which keeps your “leaky gut” in check. It can all be done with our phones in our back pocket. The expectation is NOW!
  4. A Clear and “Sticky” Call-to-Action (CTA). It is crucial that site visitors see and understand exactly what action you are inviting them to take. Because smart phones have less screen space, the CTA has to be prominent, inviting and bright. Think of the apps you use often and check out their call-to-action buttons. Color matters. Shape matter. Size matters.
  5. The Three Clicks Rule! Arguably, these days three clicks might be too many. Visitors to your site should be able to get the information, place the reservation, or order your product within three clicks, OR LESS!! Preferably less. If the process doesn’t look great, feel right and give your visitors what they want right now, then your one opportunity is gone.

Just because we ourselves have awareness of the need for mobile friendliness (usability) doesn’t mean that we can take for granted that our websites are optimizing these features. If you are redesigning your current website or if you are building a new one, make sure you are incorporating a usability key point checklist to make sure you are ticking all the boxes. Even if you are happy with your current website and its mobile friendliness, it is crucial that you keep testing that usability in order to ensure its efficiency and effectiveness.

(Featured image created by freepik – www.freepik.com)