6 Tips for Optimizing Mobile Websites

by | Jan 20, 2017 | App UX Design, Responsive Website Design

In our increasingly mobile society, designing a web page capable of accommodating these devices is imperative. Below are six tips for designing a better user experience on mobile websites.


1. Place with Space

Tapping the correct button or icon is challenging on a small screen. When designing the interface of your mobile platform, ensure each icon or menu item has enough padding. Additionally, white space, or the blank space around icons or page elements, improves readability and enhances designs.



2. Expand Vertically, Not Horizontally

The size and shape of some screens, particularly some smartphones, prevent horizontal functionality. Additionally, users find it easier to scroll up or down rather than left or right. Swiping to another portion of the screen also prevents the user from accessing content on the main page of the website, forcing them to scroll back and decreasing the page’s usability.


3. Be Handy

Research shows almost 85 percent of users work one-handed on their smartphones. Though the growth in screen sizes do allow for more content to be displayed, it also decreases the overall accessible portion of the screen.


Research by Steven Hoober. Designed by Nick Babich. In the diagram, green is easily accessible, yellow is partially accessible, and red is not easily accessible.


Design screens with the ability to be fully used with only one hand. For example, place a control bar along the bottom of the screen, allowing the user to easily utilize the full functions of the web page without straining their hands.


4. Less is More

Though significantly smaller than their computer counterparts, smartphone and tablet web pages must incorporate the same functionality as available on websites. Drop-down menu bars allow users to only see what they need, rather than filling the screen with unnecessary buttons or icons. The order and placement should correspond to the design of the web platform to increase cross-platform usability.

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5. Beware the Glare

In designing mobile websites, consider when and where users will access the page. Ensure your website is viewable and still functional even if a glare from the sun is present. Avoiding small fonts and dark colors will also increase the webpage’s overall readability.


6. Make it Iconic

Mobile users rely on websites to quickly provide information they need. Rather than offering detailed tab descriptions, select two or three-word labels to aid in the search process. Icons also help in the basic understanding of a certain button’s function, but should be familiar, simple in design, and only used when necessary. A short label below the icon is also helpful to ensure full user understanding.


Twitter incorporates icons with labels, short headings, and icons without labels in their mobile application.


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