If you follow marketing or business news of any kind you will most likely see the term “is dead” on a near weekly basis, with the term attached to everything from last year’s trends to cornerstones of marketing niches, and the latest trend to get the figurative guillotine is web design. Is web design dead? No. However, the advent of mobile, and the steady shift of users away from desktop and laptop devices towards mobile only platforms including laptops and phones is creating a definite shift in what web design should be.
While desktop web design often performs poorly on a phone or tablet, especially with slower 3G or 4G connections rather than WiFi, the trick to quality modern web design is not forgoing it in favor of apps or leaving websites behind in exchange for social platforms, but rather, in better design. This means that Seattle web designers have to create a significant shift in how they approach your websites.
Focus on Information Availability
Another very important switch that you have to keep in mind is that Google is now often providing information in search. Restaurant phone numbers, small business information, flight times and costs, and other information can now be seen directly in search, without ever clicking on a website. While this will lower your web page views and click throughs, it can make your website more profitable.
Here, you should focus on making information available, without forcing users to read through a lot of information they don’t need. For example, under “Contact Us” you really only need contact information. You also want to ensure that your business address and phone number are on your website so that Google can find them and bring them up when users search for you.
Designing Websites for the Mobile Web
Mobile users are on smaller screens, on less powerful devices, and often have less bandwidth available to them. This means that your mobile websites should be pared down, designed for mobile screens, and as simple as possible. While you can simply resize everything on your desktop website, stripping away nonessentials to provide a streamlined, information based site can be much more valuable to mobile users. This means completely redesigning your website, not just shrinking it, using hamburger or hidden menus to provide more space, and keeping options as simple as possible. Web pages still take longer to load on mobile, so it’s also a good idea to try to make sure that users find what they’re looking for in as few pages as possible.
If you visit any random website on your phone or tablet and then load it again on your computer, it will likely look very different. Unfortunately, not every website does a good job of switching between mobile and desktop, but if you try out a few, you’ll quickly see that some do. Single page interfaces, designed for mobile screen sizes, and responsive web design that adjusts based on the size of the screen.
You also want to take a look at your servers, what you’re hosting on the site, and how you’re presenting it. If your website is loading a great deal of media, flash scripts, external content, or video, it will probably take too long to load for most mobile users. Cut out everything but simple graphics and essentials so that your pages load quickly, even on slower mobile Internet.
Web design isn’t dead, and it never will be. Despite the random clickbait title claims, and the commonplace usage of themes, great web design can do a lot for your business, and it can make you stand out. However, it is crucial that you choose the right design company, get great mobile design, and optimize for the mobile web.
If you want to learn more about mobile web design, contact Rory Martin, a local Seattle web design company, for a free quote on your design, and if you agree, we’ll get started with a kickoff meeting to get to know your company, and your customers.