First Steps in Decision Making for Mobile Design

Part two of the three part series,  “Why Do I Need a Mobile Website”.

The first step is performance testing your existing website.  Automated tools for mobile acceptance from Google and Bing are provided by both search engines. However, there only 4 criteria required to pass and they are server side.  The tests don’t validate if the mobile page meets the requirements of your target market, user personas, accessibility or business goals for mobile experiences.

More testing is a logical recommendation.  To understand how your intended website visitors add an item to a shopping cart, fill out a form, searches for a product or if they read an entire article from their mobile device, there are additional sources and test methodologies to help including user testing and setting up tracking in analytics software.

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Before any redesign work is considered, manual testing on Android and Apple mobile devices is critically important.  These tests can include screenshots and recordings.  Emulation testing for mobile provides additional backup, especially for older models of various devices.  If your company has a staff, distributors, sales people, and affiliates, reach out to them for their feedback on their experiences using your present site on mobile devices. They can provide valuable insight, but may not be objective, which is why outsourcing mobile testing is desirable.

Your website may be built on WordPress or another content management system (CMS).  WordPress software is always in a state of flux.  Revisions are made to install security patches and update the source code to meet the ever-changing guidelines and enhancements for WCAG2.0, CSS3 and HTML5, JavaScript, ARIA, and other programming, as well as browsers. A template for WordPress may claim to be “mobile ready” but the reality is that it is likely outdated or requires additional tweaking that only an experienced developer can do. One of the main reasons for this is that we continue to learn more about mobile user behavior.  Browser versions change. The technical infrastructure changes. Cell phone devices themselves change. The introduction of new applications for mobile adds another element to the driving force behind “Mobile first” design.  Changes to the computer device itself creates a rush to update mobile designs or the programming driving mobile apps.

Finally, the rules for advertising took a hit with the increase in mobile use.  Banners and forms that cover up content created a tidal wave of user frustration when the same interference occurred on small screens.  Google noticed by introducing a ban on interstitials.  Users respond by leaving the page and finding a competitor that doesn’t prevent them from using their website.

The sure-fire way to know if your present website passes mobile website standards is to hire a company that performs mobile site audits.

Next, Part Three: User Experience Factors To Consider For Mobile Design

Need a sample of testing?  Creative Vision Website Consulting has a special deal on mobile testing your homepage.

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