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Should You Be Designing Your Websites Primarily for Mobile Browsers? – Seattle Web Design Tips

It’s almost common knowledge that mobile search is becoming more important than desktop search as users ditch clunky PCs and laptops that they don’t really use in favor of fast, portable tablets and phones. While computers will never be completely outdated, many consumers simply don’t use them for things that can’t be done on a suitably powerful tablet or phone. This means that as the prices of mobile devices drop, more and more consumers will switch to mobile and leave desktop entirely behind. In fact, mobile search outstripped desktop search in 2015, as announced by Google. But, with these facts in mind, should you be changing your web design tactics and aiming at mobile browsers first and desktop second? Generally, it depends on your audience, your content, and your goals.

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Your Audience or Demographic

It’s important that you know your audience. Having at least a minimum understanding of your target demographic, which types of devices they use, and how they use them can be crucial in decision making. You can see most of this data via any analytics program, Google and Bing analytics are both good free options that allow you to see which percentage of your traffic is from desktop or mobile, but more importantly, allow you to track goals, to see which percentage of desktop or mobile are clicking through, making purchases, or following your goals on the site. This allows you to see which portion of your traffic is more valuable to you. For example, goals could include calling you, checking the directions on your website, or similar. Of course, it’s not always possible to track value based on a website visit, for example, many people may be checking out your website while in the store or while near the store.

Your Content

It’s a fairly simple concept that long form content tends to work better for desktops while short form content tends to work better for mobile, but it’s not always true. Tablets and larger phone screens are making it increasingly easier for mobile users to view long content, and in fact, it’s actually easier to read a long article on a tablet than on a computer because scrolling is easier and more natural.

Where Responsive Design Fits In

Responsive design means a website that automatically resizes based on the size of the screen and the device, but it does call for sacrifices. If you’re designing for the web, you’re obviously adding more buttons, making items smaller, and adding in more features. If you’re designing for mobile, you should be aiming for larger buttons and fewer features to make scrolling and item selection easier.

How do you choose? Mobile traffic is growing at a very fast rate, and unless a great deal of your valuable traffic is coming from desktop, you should consider stripping down and simplifying your web design to make it ideal for viewing on mobile. While much maligned by press, hamburger and drop down menus make this easier, because they can be tucked safely out of sight on mobile, so they don’t clutter an already small screen.

Do you want to know more about mobile design and whether or not it will work for you? Seattle businesses who want to work with a local web design company can contact Rory Martin for a free consultation and quote. Rory Martin is a local Seattle web design company with years of experience helping businesses in the area to launch a great website. Find out if we can help you here.

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