48% of smartphone and tablet users experienced problems regarding web optimization on their mobile device, addresses keynote in their Mobile User Survey. Over a million users perform their basic online activities through smartphones and you don’t really want a problem like loading time to set you back. Here are a few ways to optimize your mobile website to perform faster for users on their mobile devices.
1 – Simplification
The best way to create simple yet satisfying user experience is to reduce dependencies to their lowest form. Optimizing speed of your website is all about getting rid of what is not needed on the site. You have three to four seconds to gain the attention of the users and it takes about 10 seconds to load a megabyte of data.
- Make sure you set standard resolutions for images to reduce download time, save processing power and memory.
- Come up with concepts that minimize client-side processing.
- Keep it simple and make it easier for users to get engaged.
2 – Split Content into Multiple Pages
Allow the user to browse through your site in a systematic manner. Keep your core content on the main page and link secondary pages to it. This will reduce the payload of the HTML and avoid other dependencies from being downloaded. Try avoiding images on the main page and provide separate tabs to view images and other options. Designing websites for mobile is completely different from designing for desktops. Make sure you maintain a minimum number of redirects to different pages through your mobile website.
3 – Finger-Friendly Design
According to Apple’s iPhone Human Interface Guidelines, the minimum size of the target (button) should be 44×44 pixels. Microsoft’s Windows Phone UI Design and interaction Guide recommend a minimum 26 pixels for a touch target and Nokia’s developer Guidelines suggest that target’s size needs to be minimum 28×28 pixels.
The average size of the index finger of an adult covers 45-57 pixels and average width of an adult thumb covers 72 pixels states MIT in its Human Fingertips to investigate the Mechanics of Tactile sense study. Their various researches also states that the larger the touch key sizes, the higher the pressing convenience. Smaller touch targets lead to bigger problems since users need to reorient their fingertip to hit the target accurately and at times hit the wrong target leading them to the wrong page. You need to define target spacing according to the space availability of the device you intend to design for.
4 – Navigation
On a mobile device user behavior changes and to adjust the user to a mobile form of your website, you need to alter the visual design of the menu making it suitably fit for a mobile layout. Design the navigation in a way that suits the user’s comfort and makes it easier to click and access buttons and links. Depending on the device, adjust the navigation at the bottom or top, or place it where it adjusts best with the keypad along with space displaying the text.
5 – Forms
A number of modern solutions have come up including the convenience of filling forms through mobile devices. Sliders, buttons, widgets, scrubbers are a few controls that can be used to make users input their data easily. Instead of the drop-down and select menu, iPhone offers a pop-up menu with a list that can be scrolled freely through flick movements. Large touch targets make it easy to select the right options. Apple also introduces the “form assistant” for Safari browser, which makes use of the “field zoom” feature that displays magnified options, making it easy for users to move through and complete the form. It’s a better idea to avoid adding forms to your mobile apps and if you really need to then consider using checkboxes, radio buttons, select lists, menus etc. that have proved to work better than direct text fields.
To achieve user satisfaction make sure you optimize your mobile web performance by simplifying the content that reduces loading time. Split the content to multiple pages creating a user-friendly navigation and functioning system so that users are able to achieve their on-the-go tasks easily. Use the techniques mentioned above and you will be able to deliver a mobile website that is beyond your user’s expectations.