With the breakthrough of responsive web design, website designers are now equally as focused on how a site will render for mobile users as they are for those using a desktop. So the case for a mobile strategy is of equal importance.
Here at westfourstreet web design we believe it’s vital to plan ahead for how users will access your content. Here are some key points when considering your website content.
Design vs Content
A large proportion of any web design project is taken up by the design and development phase. Most notably, the conversation of how a website will look and function on a mobile phone is common concern for the majority of clients. Will they have to sacrifice elements of their branding just so the site will render well for users? No is the answer in short. With the correct strategy and with a focus on content, the user experience should be of equal value regardless of device or platform.
Focusing purely on the design and development phase of a project leaves out a huge an important subject – how do we get our content to render on mobile devices and platforms?
It’s always been our belief that before a pixel is even touched, the content must come first. Then that way you design the website for the content. Otherwise you run the very real risk of trying to put a square peg into a round hole. What mobile friendly websites do, is provide the perfect opportunity to review content within tight constraints.
Having a clear strategy for your content and how you want to present this to your users should set the foundations of the design.
There Is No Digital Divide
With over 60% of internet users now using their mobiles to access web pages, there is no longer a decision to be made regarding whether or not a website should be responsive / mobile friendly. This is should be standard practice.
Mobile users are now the dominant force when it comes to accessing online content. So it would be wrong to assume you can design and develop a website for “on-the-go-users”. It would also be wrong to focus solely on just focusing on your key content or key features. Content parity is something to aim for when it comes to your website and the user experience it provides for both desktop and mobile users.
Having content strategy will allow you to creative adaptive content. Meaning, your content is ready to be viewed anywhere and on anything.
When writing content for your website and the audience you wish to reach, it’s easy to get carried away. Sure, you want to tell your clients and potential new customers everything there is to know about you and your business. But truth be told, many of your users simply will not take the time to read paragraph after paragraph of your company history. However, they may do if your content is structured. Breaking down your content into sections and giving hierarchy to the essential facts will provide a far more pleasurable reading experience and make your content more inviting. This is often referred to as ‘information architecture’.
Where this really serves a purpose of course is on mobile devices. Why? Because the area in which your content sits are far smaller than that of the desktop version of your website. Endless scrolling waiting for the inevitable conclusion is not likely to encourage users to navigate through your additional content. The use of titles and images to break down the content into bit size chunks will keep the user engaged.
The more structure you place within your content, the more easily your content will breathe.
When space is limited for mobile users, it’s worth considering the use of infographics. What infographics can provide is a more visually pleasing way of getting your message across or delivering key content to your users.
Providing an animated graphic to your users which showcases for example, client testimonials or figures relating to sales, doing this with graphics engages users. It keeps their attention and it also makes sensible use of space. Especially for your mobile users.
Having a strategy in place which incorporates graphics being used for content is something to be considered very early on in any web design project.
You’ve Got Style!
The explosion of mobile users along with mobile friendly websites has delivered the opportunity to be creative with website content. After all, you’re not writing for robots. You’re writing for people. You’re also having to take into consideration that over 60% of your audience will be accessing your content on a device that’s no bigger than the palm of their hand.
So it’s important to remember that even though you feel it’s important to cram in as many keywords into your page titles and content as possible, it’s actually far more important to deliver great content to your users. Most search engines (if not, all) use an extremely complex algorithm which doesn’t need you to spell out the point of your content.
Writing with structure and writing directly to your target audience is far more beneficial. This structure will translate well for any search engine. So your style of writing will play a big part in how your content is perceived. Content writers are now having to be far more creative with their writing in order to provide mobile users nothing but a enjoyable experience.
Finally, it’s important to remember that your content strategy shouldn’t just be for your own website. Social media platforms such as Facebook are widely used by businesses wishing to reach a larger audience. So when you do write your content for desktop & mobile users, you should also keep in mind that various areas of your website such as your blog, can and should be shared amongst the various social media channels available.
By giving focus to the above key points, not only do you have the opportunity to deliver great content on any device or platform, but it forces you to focus on how you will get your content on to mobile devices in a way that forces you to be creative.
Mobile friendly websites allows you to be creative with your writing in a way that you’ve never had to be before. Which can only be a good thing for your users.